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McKinsey Settles with New Jersey, Others Regarding Role in Opioid Epidemic

The state of New Jersey, along with 47 additional states, five U.S. territories, and the District of Washington, has settled with global consulting firm McKinsey & Company regarding its role in fueling the opioid epidemic, according to Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal.

The Office of the Attorney General noted the company had designed aggressive marketing strategies that were used by the some of the largest opioid manufacturers in the U.S., including Purdue Pharma

Under the agreement, McKinsey will pay $573 million, of which $16 million will be sent to the Garden State. This funding will largely be used to battle the ongoing opioid epidemic, with some earmarked for costs related to the investigation.

Settling Various Counts with McKinsey

“We are continuing to deliver on our promise to hold accountable the corporations and executives whose bad acts contributed to the opioid epidemic that has brought so much despair to our communities,” said Grewal.

The settlement concerned allegations the company created and carried out a host of “hard-charging sales strategies” employed by Purdue and other major opioid manufacturers that had hired McKinsey.

The allegations indicated McKinsey had helped these pharmaceutical companies find new, larger, and more lucrative target markets for the drugs.

15 Year Pattern

McKinsey sold the ideas for 15 years, according to the Attorney General, who noted that between 2004 and 2019, it had made these types of sales recommendation.

“We cannot begin to measure the pain and suffering caused by Purdue with McKinsey’s assistance, but we know it will plague our communities for years to come,” said Sharon M. Joyce, Director of the Office of the New Jersey Coordinator for Addiction Responses and Enforcement Strategies (NJ CARES). “This settlement rightly makes McKinsey responsible for providing financial resources needed to combat the long-lasting and destructive ripple effects of unlawful marketing of opioids.”

In addition to the monetary fine, McKinsey will be required to prepare tens of thousands of internal documents connected to its opioid marketing strategies.

Additional Stipulations on McKinsey

Additionally, these documents would highlight its work with Purdue Pharma and other opioid companies for public disclosure.

The company will now adhere to a strict document retention plan, and continue its investigation into all allegations that two partners attempted to destroy documents in response to an investigation into Purdue Pharma.

“With today’s settlement, McKinsey is paying much more than the money it made advising opioid manufacturers like Purdue Pharma on how to sell more of their addictive drugs,” said Grewal. “We look forward to making Purdue and other opioid manufacturers also pay to help New Jersey overcome and heal from the epidemic they unleashed.”

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