Consulting firm McKinsey & Co agrees to settle lawsuits over opiod crisis role claims with $573 million

According to a source familiar with the matter at hand, McKinsey & Co, a consulting firm, has agreed to pay $573 million to resolve claims with 43 U.S. states related to its role in the opioid epidemic and advice it gave to OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma.

The settlement is with 43 states, the District of Columbia and three territories, said the source. Attorneys Generals of many states, including Vermont’s attorney general, T.J. Donovan, have said they planned announcements on the opioid epidemic later today.

The office of attorney general, T.J. Donovan said it would announce its participation in the first multi-state opioid settlement “to result in substantial payment to the states to address the epidemic.”

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he had reached a separate, $13 million settlement with McKinsey that was on top of the reported multi-state agreement

McKinsey did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

McKinsey previously came under scrutiny for its role advising Purdue Pharma and the wealth Sackler family that owns the drugmaker.

A lawsuit by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey alleged McKinsey advised the Sacklers on how to “turbocharge” opioid sales.

In 2019, Purdue had filed for bankruptcy as part of a proposed settlement it valued at $10 billion to resolve lawsuits alleging its painkiller marketing helped fuel the epidemic.

There are more than 3,200 lawsuits pending, seeking to hold drug makers, distributors and pharmacies responsible for an opioid addiction epidemic that according to U.S. government data resulted in 450,000 overdose deaths from 1999 to 2018.

The lawsuits have accused drugmakers of deceptively marketing opioids and distributors of ignoring red flags indicating the prescription painkillers were being diverted for improper uses. The drugmakers have denied any wrongdoing.

The states and local governments have been also in negotiations for settlements with drug distributors Cardinal Health Inc, McKesson Corp and Amerisourcebergen Corp and drugmaker Johnson & Johnson.



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