McKinsey & Company, one of the world’s largest consulting firms, has settled a $573 million lawsuit brought against it by a coalition of Attorneys General from 47 states. Maine’s Attorney General Aaron Frey is part of the coalition. Because of that participation, Maine will receive $3,139,915 from the multi-state settlement.
The settlement, after payment of costs, will be used to abate problems caused by opioid in the participating states. This is the first multi-state opioid settlement to result in substantial payment to the states to address the epidemic. 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. In addition, McKinsey agreed to adopt a strict document retention plan, continue its investigation of Purdue Pharma, implement a strict ethics code that all partners must agree to each year and stop advising companies on potentially dangerous Schedule 11 and 111 narcotics.
When states began to sue Purdue’s directors for their implementation of McKinsey’s marketing scheme, McKinsey partners began emailing about deleting documents and emails related to their work for Purdue.
The opioid epidemic has led to considerable harm to individuals and communities in Maine over the last 20 years. During this time, thousands of Mainers have died from a drug overdose. On an economic level, these deaths and the impacts on Mainers who have struggled with opioid addiction have created considerable costs to the state 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 opportunities and productivity. On the social level, opioid addiction abuse and overdose deaths have torn families apart, damaged relationships and eroded the social fabric of communities.