(Reuters) – McKinsey & Co, the consulting firm, has agreed to pay $573 million to resolve investigations by most U.S. states over its alleged role in “turbocharging” sales of opioids, fueling a nationwide epidemic.
The settlement with 47 states, the District of Columbia and five territories was announced by multiple state attorneys general.
It also requires McKinsey to turn over tens of thousands of internal documents detailing its work for Purdue Pharma, the drugmaker owned by the wealthy Sackler family and most closely associated with the epidemic, and other drugmakers.
“They were part of a machine that disrupted, in fact destroyed, lives and families in America,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said at a press conference. “Today we hold McKinsey to account.”
Purdue, which makes OxyContin, filed for bankruptcy in 2019 as part of a proposed settlement it valued at $10 billion to resolve lawsuits claiming its marketing helped fuel the epidemic.
More than 3,200 lawsuits seek to hold drugmakers, distributors and pharmacies responsible for an epidemic that according to U.S. government data resulted in 450,000 overdose deaths from 1999 to 2018.
“This crisis is fundamentally one of overprescribing,” North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said at a press conference.
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