Amid Opioid ODs, Firm Advised How to 'Supercharge' Sales: Report

Consulting firm McKinsey to pay $573M for role in crisis
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 4, 2021 12:02 AM CST
Report: McKinsey to Pay $573M for Role in Opioid Crisis
OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt.   (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

The global business consulting firm McKinsey & Company has agreed to a $573 million settlement over its role in advising companies on how to "supercharge" opioid sales amid an overdose crisis, a person with knowledge of the deal told the AP on Wednesday. Sources told the New York Times that an announcement is planned Thursday, along with filings in courts in 47 states, the District of Columbia, and five US territories. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a statement that the state would file a consent decree Thursday involving McKinsey "that will result in corporate reforms and more than $13 million to Washington state for opioid treatment, prevention, and recovery efforts." Ferguson said that was separate from the multistate deal.

Most of the money in the national settlement would be sent to the states in less than a year, and would be used to abate the national overdose crisis. Prescription opioids and illegal ones such as heroin and illicit fentanyl combined have been linked to the deaths of more than 470,000 Americans since 2000. State and local governments have been filing lawsuits over the past few years against companies that make and sell prescription opioids for their role in the crisis. But going after a consulting firm is a new wrinkle in the litigation. McKinsey provided documents used in legal proceedings regarding OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, including some that describe its efforts to help the company try to "supercharge" opioid sales in 2013, as reaction to the overdose crisis was taking a toll on prescribing.

(Read more opioids stories.)

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