Mckinsey To Pay Nearly $600 Million for Its Role in the Opioid Epidemic
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McKinsey & Company agreed to pay nearly $600 million in response to their role in helping “turbocharge” opioid sales.
The firm reached a $573 million agreement with attorney generals in 47 states, including the District of Columbia and five territories. Separate deals were announced in the state of Washington, for $13 million, as well as in West Virginia, for $10 million. Nevada will continue to pursue its opioid investigation, so they are excluded from these current agreements.
The multistate settlement “resolves investigations by the attorneys general into the company’s role in working for opioid companies, helping those companies promote their drugs, and profiting millions of dollars from the opioid epidemic,” according to a press release from the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James.
McKinsey has not admitted to any wrongdoing, but will continue to investigate whether employees, including two partners, tried to destroy documents in response to probes.
“We deeply regret that we did not adequately acknowledge the tragic consequences of the epidemic,” McKinsey Global Managing Partner, Kevin Sneader, said in a statement.
In 2009, McKinsey developed strategies for Purdue to increase “brand loyalty” to the drug among patients and prescribers, according to a complaint released along with the settlement.
The complaint detailed McKinsey’s advice to Purdue saying “it could increase OxyContin sales through physician targeting and specific messaging to prescribers.”
Four years later, McKinsey implemented its plan to “Turbocharg[e] Purdue’s Sales Engine,” which resulted in increased opioid sales, especially of OxyContin, according to the complaint.
McKinsey’s helped by “assisting with sales representative training, productivity, messaging, and call plans, IT systems, promotional strategies, and market forecasting,” the complaint stated.
The complaint also stated that McKinsey worked with other major opioid manufacturers, including Johnson & Johnson and Endo. Neither company has commented on the settlement.
McKinsey will no longer accept any work related to “any opioid or other opioid-based Schedule II or III controlled substance,” according to the court documents.
Money from the settlement will go towards communities that struggled with the effects of the opioid crisis. For example, Oregon’s portion of the settlement will go towards the Drug Treatment and Recovery Services Fund, a fund created “to treat substance use disorder as a public health problem and to provide necessary treatment,” Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said during the press conference.
“They [McKinsey & Company] were part of a machine that disrupted, in fact destroyed, lives and families in America,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.