NH joins $573M settlement with McKinsey & Co. for role in ‘turbocharging’ opioid epidemic with Purdue, others

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OxyContin, a drug manufactured by Purdue Pharmacy and linked to the nation’s opioid epidemic. File Photo

CONCORD, NH Deputy Attorney General Jane E. Young announces that New Hampshire has joined 47 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories in a $573 million settlement with McKinsey & Company, resolving investigations into the company’s role in working for opioid companies, helping those companies promote their opioids, and profiting from the opioid epidemic.

New Hampshire will receive $3,332,762 over five years from the multistate settlement.  Under a state law enacted last year, the proceeds from this settlement will be deposited into a fund that will be used to abate problems caused by opioids. This is the first multi-state opioid settlement to result in substantial payment to the states to address the epidemic.

“New Hampshire will continue to take strong action to hold all bad actors accountable and demand the necessary financial relief that will help our State prevail in the opioid crisis,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “This crisis has devastated countless lives in New Hampshire, and this multistate settlement should deter irresponsible and greedy corporations from fueling this epidemic. I thank the Department of Justice for their work on this case.”

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 also agreed to:

  1. Adopt a strict document retention plan;
  2. Continue its investigation into allegations that two of its partners tried to destroy documents in response to investigations of Purdue Pharma;
  3. Implement a strict ethics code that all partners must agree to each year; and
  4. Stop advising companies regarding potentially dangerous Schedule II and III narcotics.

New Hampshire filed a complaint today for permanent injunction and other relief and a final consent judgment in Merrimack County Superior Court. These 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 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.

The opioid epidemic has led to immeasurable harm to individuals and communities in New Hampshire over the last 20 years. During this time, thousands of New Hampshire citizens have died from opioid overdoses. On an economic level, these deaths have created considerable costs to New Hampshire in the form of health care, child welfare, criminal justice, and many other programs needed to lessen the epidemic. It has also resulted in lost economic opportunity and productivity. On the social level, opioid addiction, abuse, and overdose deaths have devastated and torn apart families, damaged relationships, and eroded the social fabric of communities.

Today’s filing and settlement is the latest action that the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office has taken to combat the opioid epidemic and to hold accountable those who are responsible for creating and fueling the crisis.