The prestigious consulting firm McKinsey has struck a deal with 47 states over its role in the opioid crisis.
Notably, the company had advised OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma (Stamford, Conn.) on “turbocharging” opioid sales. The pharma company had worked with McKinsey for 15 years.
The Justice Department concluded that McKinsey helped manage a Purdue Pharma sales program known as “Evolve to Excellence” that pushed medically questionable OxyContin prescriptions.
There is no admission of wrongdoing in the McKinsey settlement, but the firm will publicly share tens of thousands of pages of documents linked to its opioid work.
“With this agreement, we hope to be part of the solution to the opioid crisis in the U.S.,” said Kevin Sneader, global managing partner of McKinsey, in prepared remarks.
Sneader also apologized for the firm’s role in the opioid crisis while also maintaining that the firm’s past work with opioid makers was lawful.
The company has also reaffirmed its prior commitment to not advise clients on opioid-related projects anywhere in the world, according to a statement on McKinsey’s website.
The firm also fired two partners who had recommended deleting documents related to its work with Purdue Pharma.
Some $478 million of the McKinsey settlement has been earmarked for state programs to treat and prevent opioid addictions.
Last year, Purdue pleaded guilty to three federal felonies related to its role in fueling the opioid crisis.
Other notable companies could be on the hook for even more than McKinsey. McKesson, for instance, could pay $8 billion to settle opioid lawsuits.