McKinsey & Company, one of the world’s largest consulting firms, will pay $573 million in a multistate settlement for its work with opioid companies.
McKinsey reached the agreement with a coalition of 47 attorneys general, the District of Columbia and five US territories.
The settlement, announced Thursday, “resolves investigations by the attorneys general into the company’s role in working for opioid companies, helping those companies promote their drugs, and profiting millions of dollars from the opioid epidemic,” according to a press release from the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James, who co-led the coalition of attorneys general.
The use of OxyContin and other opioid prescription painkillers has become an epidemic in the United States that is blamed for tens of thousands of deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
James’ office added that this “is the first multistate opioid agreement to result in substantial payment to states to address the crisis.” Funds from the settlement are expected to be used to help address the effects of the opioid epidemic in the participating states.
“We chose to resolve this matter in order to provide fast, meaningful support to communities across the United States,” Kevin Sneader, global managing partner of McKinsey, said in a statement on the settlement.
“We deeply regret that we did not adequately acknowledge the tragic consequences of the epidemic unfolding in our communities,” Sneader’s statement continued. “With this agreement, we hope to be part of the solution to the opioid crisis in the U.S.”
The consulting firm told CNN Business in 2019 it would no longer do work for Purdue Pharma, the controversial drug firm that made the prescription painkiller OxyContin. In October, Purdue agreed to plead guilty to three federal criminal charges for its role in creating the nation’s opioid crisis, in addition to paying more than $8 billion and dissolving the company.
McKinsey said in the statement it has “reaffirmed the commitment it made two years ago not to advise clients on any opioid-related business anywhere in the world.” The settlement does not involve an admission of wrongdoing or liability, and McKinsey said it believes its past work was lawful.