A coalition of nearly every attorney general in the country has agreed to a $573 million settlement in an ongoing lawsuit against McKinsey & Company for its role in the opioid epidemic.
McKinsey, one of the world’s largest consulting firms, helps opioid companies market and promote their drugs, profiting millions from the opioid epidemic, the coalition alleged.
“McKinsey’s cynical and calculated marketing tactics helped fuel the opioid crisis by helping Purdue Pharma target those doctors they knew would overprescribe opioids,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James. “They knew where the money was coming from and zeroed in on it. Under the terms of today’s agreement, the company will finally end its illegal conduct, deliver more than half a billion dollars into communities across the nation, and will never be able to help perpetrate this type of fraud and deception again. While no amount of money will ever compensate for the pain of the hundreds of thousands dead, the millions addicted, and the countless families torn apart from opioid addiction, we can ensure that those responsible for the crisis help to fund prevention, education, and treatment programs to stop additional New Yorkers and Americans across the country from becoming addicted to opioids in the first place.”
The money will be split amongst 47 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. It will be used towards abating the effects of excessive opioid use in the participating states.
Additionally, the agreement calls for McKinsey to release thousands of its internal documents that provide insight into its dealings with OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma and other opioid manufacturers. McKinsey has also agreed to adopt strict document retention plans, continue its investigation into allegations that two of its partners tried to destroy documents related to the Purdue Pharma investigation, implement strict ethics codes that all partners must adhere to, and stop advising companies on opioid-based Schedule II and II narcotics.
The filing outlined how McKinsey contributed to the opioid crisis by advising Purdue Pharma how to maximize profits by targeting high-volume opioid prescribers, using certain messaging to get physicians to prescribe more OxyContin to more patients, and circumventing pharmacy restrictions to deliver high-dose prescriptions.