AG Rosenblum Announces $573 Million National Settlement Against McKinsey & Company for “Turbocharging” the Opioid Epidemic; Oregon’s Share is $7.8 million

February 4, 2021
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Settlement will be first to fund Oregon’s Drug Treatment and Recovery Services Fund 

Today Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum joins Attorneys General from 47 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories in a $573 million settlement with one of the world’s largest consulting firms, McKinsey & Company. Oregon’s share of the settlement is $7.8 million. The settlement resolves allegations relating to McKinsey’s decades-long work guiding opioid companies in promoting their products and profiting from the opioid epidemic. This is the first multi-state settlement resulting in substantial payment to the states to address the national opioid epidemic.

Oregon is a member of the multistate Executive Committee. Senior Assistant Attorney General David Hart was actively involved in negotiating the settlement.

“For years, McKinsey gave fuel to the opioid crisis by teaching drug manufacturers how to successfully sell more pills.  As a consultant, McKinsey shares responsibility for this national tragedy, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths, ” said AG Rosenblum. “Today’s filing lays out how McKinsey used their specific brand of marketing to get doctors to prescribe more pills—and get Americans hooked.”

Oregon will also recover “out of pocket” expenses associated with the litigation. The $7.8 million in settlement funds will be deposited into the Drug Treatment and Recovery Services Fund account created by Ballot Measure 110 in 2020 and will be used to provide treatment to Oregonians with substance use disorders.

The settlement calls for McKinsey to publicly disclose online tens of thousands of its internal documents detailing its work for Purdue Pharma and other opioid companies. In addition, McKinsey will implement a strict ethics code and will stop advising companies on potentially dangerous narcotics (Schedule II and III). They will also adopt a strict document retention plan and continue their investigation into allegations that two of their partners tried to destroy documents in response to investigations of Purdue Pharma.

Today’s filing is the latest action the Oregon Attorney General has taken to combat the opioid epidemic and to hold accountable those who are responsible for creating and fueling the crisis. Oregon is also involved with additional actions against Purdue Pharma, the Sackler Family (owners of Purdue Pharma) and the various national opioid manufacturers and distributors. All of these actions are being led in Oregon by Mr. Hart.  “While many lawyers and investigators have ‘burned the midnight oil’ on these cases, no one works harder or is more dedicated to this cause than David Hart. I want to publicly thank him for his ongoing efforts on behalf of Oregon —and the whole country,” said AG Rosenblum.

The Executive Committee consisted of the Attorneys Generals  of Oregon, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Vermont. The other Attorneys General signing on to the settlement are from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, the District of Columbia, and the territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.