McKinsey to Pay $573 Million to Settle Role in Opioid Crisis

The blue-chip consultancy firm will settle investigations from over 40 states, according to reports.

Global consultancy firm McKinsey & Company has agreed to pay $573 to settle claims by more than 40 US states related to its role in the nation’s opioid epidemic, US media reported on Wednesday.

Sources familiar with the matter said that McKinsey’s settlement is with 43 states, the District of Columbia and three territories. Several attorney generals said they planned to make announcements on the opioid epidemic on Thursday, coinciding with the filing of the settlement.

$478 million of the settlement must be paid within 60 days, according to the New York Times. In total, the settlement will exceed any profits the firm made from its opioid-related work with pharmaceutical companies.

The company will not admit wrongdoing as part of the deal.

McKinsey has come under scrutiny for its role in advising drugmaker Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family which owns the company. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey claimed in a lawsuit that McKinsey advised the Sacklers on how they could “turbocharge the sales engine” for opioids.

Purdue reached an $8 billion plea deal with authorities in October to resolve its role in driving the opioid crisis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that almost half a million Americans died due to overdoses from prescription and illegal opioids between 1999 and 2018.

More than 3,200 lawsuits are still pending against US drugmakers, distributors and pharmacies for driving opioid addiction through deceptive marketing or ignoring signs that prescription drugs were being diverted for improper uses.

State and local governments have also been holding negotiations for settlements with drugmaker Johnson & Johnson and distributors Cardinal Health Inc, Amerisourcebergen Corp and McKesson Corp.

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