Entertainment expenses by drug firms fall due to anti-graft law

SEOUL-- Meals and entertainment spending by major pharmaceutical firms have been greatly reduced after the anti-graft law went into effect nearly one year ago, industry data showed Thursday.

According to their semi-annual business reports, 15 drug companies checked greatly reduced their spending on clients and partners during the first half of 2017, compared with the same period a year earlier. These companies raked in more than 100 billion won (US$87 million) in revenue each in the January-June period.

The combined entertainment spending by the big companies came to 5.2 billion won, down 19 percent from 6.4 billion won posted the year before, the latest findings showed.

The law, which took effect in September last year, bans public servants, educators and journalists from receiving free meals valued at over 30,000 won, gifts worth more than 50,000 won or congratulatory or condolence money of more than 100,000 won.

Public officials -- including educators and journalists -- are also barred from receiving any financial or other benefits in connection to their duties, regardless of whether such an offer is given in exchange for favors.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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