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Thursday, August 5, 2021

Nevada Will Get $45 Million In Settlement With McKinsey Over Consulting Firm’s Role In Opioid Crisis

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Nevada will receive $45 million in a settlement with McKinsey, one of the world’s largest and most powerful consulting firms, over the company’s role in advising opioid manufacturers on how to push opioid products on doctors and patients.

Key Facts

Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford announced Monday the funds would go toward addressing the damage from Nevada’s opioid crisis, which has killed thousands and created a strain on state health resources.

Ford opted out of a multistate settlement with McKinsey and decided instead to pursue a separate settlement for Nevada alone, partly because of the severe impact the opioid epidemic has had on the state, one of the hardest hit by opioid abuse, according to the state.

State court filings paint a picture of how McKinsey worked with opioid manufacturers, including OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, to aggressively market its products and ramp up profits, which critics say contributed to the country’s opioid crisis.

Nevada alleges McKinsey advised companies to target doctors writing the most opioid prescriptions to the most patients, and helped come up with messaging to persuade them to prescribe even more, a strategy that was particularly effective in distributing OxyContin in the state.

McKinsey worked with manufacturers like Purdue, Endo, Johnson & Johnson and Mallinckrodt to boost opioid sales in Nevada, the state said.

Crucial Quote

“The devastation caused by the opioid epidemic affects us all,” Ford said in a statement Monday. “It’s felt by every mother and father who has lost a child. It’s felt by siblings who have lost a sister or brother. And it’s felt by friends and colleagues who lost one of their own. My Bureau of Consumer Protection has fought on behalf of each of you, and we’re proud of the results of today’s settlement.”

Big Number

50. That’s the number many U.S. states where McKinsey has reached settlements over the consulting firm’s work for opioid manufacturers. “We recognize that our work for opioid manufacturers, while lawful, fell short of the high standards we set for ourselves and that we did not adequately acknowledge the epidemic unfolding in communities across the country,” the company said in a statement Monday.

Key Background

Last month, McKinsey agreed to pay $573 million to 47 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories over its work with opioid manufacturers, which will go toward opioid treatment, prevention and recovery programs. McKinsey also announced separate deals for Washington ($13.5 million) and West Virginia ($10 million), another hard-hit state. Purdue Pharma settled with the U.S. Justice Department in October for $8 billion over OxyContin and the role it played in the opioid crisis. Other opioid manufacturers have also agreed to large settlements, like Endo, Johnson & Johnson and Mallinckrodt. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 450,000 Americans died in opioid overdoses between 1999 and 2018.

Further Reading

Reports: McKinsey Has Reached A $573 Million Settlement With States For Its Role In Marketing Opioid Drugs (Forbes)

OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma Reaches $8 Billion Settlement In Opioid Crisis Probe (Forbes)

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