(Boise) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has joined a coalition of 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. The settlement resolves investigations into the company’s role in working for opioid companies, helping those companies promote their drugs, and profiting from the opioid epidemic. It is the first multi-state opioid settlement to result in substantial payment to the states to address the epidemic.
Idaho’s total share is $2,894,912 and will be distributed in five payments. Each will be deposited into the state’s Consumer Protection Fund as required by Idaho law. The funds are intended to be used for abatement purposes.
In addition to providing funds to address the crisis, the agreement calls for McKinsey to disclose online tens of thousands of its internal documents detailing its work for Purdue Pharma and other opioid companies. McKinsey also agreed to adopt a strict document retention plan, continue its investigation into allegations that two of its partners tried to destroy documents in response to investigations of Purdue Pharma, implement a strict ethics code that all partners must agree to each year, and stop advising companies on potentially dangerous Schedule II and III narcotics.
“Today’s settlement will bring nearly $3 million to Idaho to help our state continue to deal with the far-reaching effects of opioids,” Wasden said. “This is a positive step but there are more companies to hold accountable. I will continue working with my fellow state attorneys general to do just that.”
Today’s filings describe how McKinsey contributed to the opioid crisis by promoting marketing schemes and consulting services to opioid manufacturers, including OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, for over a decade. The complaint, filed with the settlement, details how McKinsey advised Purdue on how to maximize profits from its opioid products, including targeting high-volume opioid prescribers, using specific messaging to get physicians to prescribe more OxyContin to more patients, and circumventing pharmacy restrictions in order to deliver high-dose prescriptions.
When states began to sue Purdue’s directors for their implementation of McKinsey’s marketing schemes, McKinsey partners began emailing about deleting documents and emails related to their work for Purdue.
Today’s settlement resolves only allegations dealing with McKinsey. Idaho and numerous other states continue to litigate against companies like Purdue, as well as members of the Sackler family, over their role in the opioid epidemic.