AG Shapiro: Firm agrees to $573M settlement in opioid crisis

Opioid Crisis

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that he and a group of attorneys general from 47 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories have secured a $573 million settlement with McKinsey & Company, one of the world’s largest consulting firms, resolving investigations into the company’s role in helping opioid companies promote their drugs and profiting from the opioid epidemic.

The money from the settlement will be used to abate opioid-related problems in the participating states. Pennsylvania will receive $25,755,365 from the settlement. This is the first multi-state opioid settlement to result in substantial payment to the states to address the epidemic.

“The opioid epidemic has claimed the lives of Pennsylvanians every single day, and this public health and public safety crisis was engineered for the profit of opioid manufacturers and peddlers,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “McKinsey & Company cared only about making money at the expense of the most vulnerable while every community in Pennsylvania suffered. We’re taking action to hold them accountable for their greed and the devastation they pushed for profit. This is one piece of our broader work to hold these opioid companies accountable, and I promise – there will be more to come.”

The complaint, filed along with the settlement, details how McKinsey advised Purdue and other opioid manufacturers on how to maximize profits from its opioid products, including targeting high-volume opioid prescribers, using specific messaging to get physicians to prescribe more OxyContin to more patients, and circumventing pharmacy restrictions in order to deliver high-dose prescriptions. When states began to sue Purdue’s directors for their implementation of McKinsey’s marketing schemes, McKinsey partners began emailing about deleting documents and emails related to their work for Purdue.

In addition to the payout, the settlement requires McKinsey to prepare tens of thousands of internal documents detailing its work for Purdue Pharma and other opioid companies for public disclosure online. McKinsey must also adopt a strict document retention plan, continue its investigation into allegations that two of its partners tried to destroy documents in response to investigations of Purdue Pharma, implement a strict ethics code that all partners must agree to each year, and stop advising companies on potentially dangerous Schedule II and III narcotics.

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