Won Hee-mok, president of the Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-Pharma Manufacturers Association (KPBMA), voluntarily resigned Tuesday, following a decision by the government’s ethics committee to limit his public employment.
Earlier on Monday, the ethics committee ruled to limit Won’s employment, citing the linkage between his legislative activities as a member of the National Assembly in 2008 and the current KPBMA tasks.
Won proposed the “Special Act on Supporting Pharmaceutical Industry Development” in 2008. The committee deemed that it was not appropriate for a former lawmaker, who proposed a legislation supporting the drug industry, to work for such representative pharmaceutical organization.
“I have always been proud to have led the initiative and enactment of the legislation,” Won said in a statement. “Although I sponsored the legislation nine years ago and it was enacted six years ago, it became the main reason for the decision to restrict my employment.”
It was difficult to understand why it became a problem and left much room for legal controversy, including administrative litigation, Won added.
“However, I decided to accept the committee’s decision. KPBMA does much work with the government. Therefore, it is unfavorable for the KPBMA if the leader goes against the government’s decision,” he said.
Won, who graduated from Seoul National University College of Medicine, served as the director of the Korea Health and Welfare Information Development, Social Security Information Service Director, and the 18th National Assembly member. He became the President of KPBMA in March 2017.
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