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McKinsey & Company agrees to $573 million settlement over Opioid Crisis

PUBLISHED ON 2021-02-05 02:47:00 EST


Consultancy giant McKinsey & Company has signed a $573 million settlement over its work encouraging OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma and other drug distributors to vigorously sell opioid painkillers, which some states say helped fuel an opioid crisis around the world.

The settlement agreement signed with 47 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories is officially announced on Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported.

In 60 days, the major chunk of the payout, $478 million, will have to be paid and the balance will be paid in four annual installments beginning in 2022, the reports added.

This is the first nationwide settlement to arise from the extensive opioid lawsuits against pharmaceutical makers which were filed over the last few years by federal, city, and local governments. To combat the epidemic, the agreement is also the first to result in a large payout to the states. The proceeds will be used for campaigns, prevention, care, and regeneration.

The New York Times confirmed that McKinsey did not confess to wrongdoing in the deal, but will agree to court-ordered limits on dealing with addictive drugs, citing sources.

McKinsey was previously scrutinized for its position advising Purdue Pharma and the affluent Sackler family that owns the drugmaker.

A lawsuit by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey alleged McKinsey that it advised the Sacklers on how to "turbocharge" opioid sales, reported Reuters.

In 2019, Purdue filed for bankruptcy as part of a negotiated deal estimated at $10 billion to settle litigation arguing that the promotion of painkillers helped intensify the epidemic.

According to figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 450,000 is the total number of deaths caused by opioid overdoses in the United States since 1999.

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