DOVER — Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings announced Thursday a $573 million multistate settlement with one of the world’s largest consulting firms, McKinsey & Co., resolving investigations into its role in helping opioid manufacturers promote their drugs and profiting from the opioid epidemic.
“These are the first damages Delaware’s recovered from the people responsible for the opioid crisis, but they won’t be the last,” said Ms. Jennings. “McKinsey helped Big Pharma profit — and profited itself — off of thousands of Delawareans’ pain and suffering. “We can never bring back the lives that were lost in Big Pharma’s pursuit of profit, but settlements like this give us the resources to get help to those who are still grappling with the devastation that this epidemic has caused across our state.” This is the first multistate opioid settlement to result in substantial payment to the states to be used to address the epidemic. The settlement amount exceeds the total revenue that McKinsey collected from its opioid clients. Delaware will receive just more than $2.58 million from the settlement, which will be used to abate the harms caused by the opioid crisis in the First State. In addition to providing funds to address the crisis, the agreement calls for McKinsey to prepare tens of thousands of its internal documents detailing its work for Purdue Pharma and other opioid companies for public disclosure online. McKinsey further agreed to stop advising companies on potentially dangerous Schedule II and Schedule III narcotics, 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 adopt a firm document-retention plan. Thursday’s filings describe how, for more than a decade, McKinsey’s work promoting marketing schemes and consulting services to opioid manufacturers — including OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma — contributed to the opioid crisis.