Commonwealth of Virginia
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ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING SECURES $573 MILLION SETTLEMENT WITH MCKINSEY & COMPANY FOR ITS ROLE IN “TURBOCHARGING” THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC WITH PURDUE PHARMA
~ Virginia will receive $13,681,773.38 as its share of the settlement that will most likely go into Attorney General Herring’s proposed opioid abatement program ~
RICHMOND – Attorney General Mark R. Herring has joined a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from 47 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories in securing a $573 million settlement with one of the world’s largest consulting firms, McKinsey & Company, resolving investigations into the company’s role in working for opioid companies, helping those companies promote their drugs, and profiting from the opioid epidemic.
Virginia will receive $13,681,773.38 from the multistate settlement. The funds from the settlement will most likely be put into an opioid abatement program that Attorney General Herring is currently working with House Majority Leader Charniele Herring and Senator George Barker to get passed in the General Assembly. This is the first multistate opioid settlement to result in substantial payment to the states to address the epidemic.
“The opioid epidemic continues to directly impact the lives of Virginians and their families and every community across the Commonwealth has felt its devastating effects,” said Attorney General Herring. “The role pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors played in creating and prolonging this crisis is clear – but they are not alone in their culpability. McKinsey provided Purdue Pharma with the marketing plans and materials to push millions of pills and prescriptions into our communities, and they must be held accountable for their catastrophic actions.
“I will continue to go after pharmaceutical companies and those that they worked with, who chose over and over again to put profits over human lives. I hope that this settlement demonstrates just why it’s so important for Virginia to set up a framework to make sure that any money goes straight to addressing the opioid crisis head on, expanding access to treatment, and saving lives.”
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 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.
The filings describe how McKinsey contributed to the opioid crisis by promoting marketing schemes and consulting services to opioid manufacturers, including Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, for over a decade. The complaint, that will be 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 Attorney General Herring and other 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.
Attorney General Herring is working with House Majority Leader Charniele Herring and Senator George Barker to create an opioid abatement program in Virginia that will direct funds secured through Attorney General Herring’s ongoing lawsuits and investigations against drug manufacturers and distributors toward opioid abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery, ensuring that the most money possible goes to actually address the opioid crisis. If passed by the General Assembly, this would make Virginia one of the first states in the nation to have a legislatively enacted framework for directing funds from opioid litigation towards opioid abatement.
The opioid crisis has been one of Attorney General Herring’s top priorities, and as part of this work he has focused on accountability for pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors who helped create, prolong, and profit from the opioid crisis in Virginia and around the country. Attorney General Herring has filed suit against Purdue Pharma; the Sackler Family, owners of Purdue Pharma; and Teva/Cephalon for the roles that they played in creating the opioid epidemic. Additional multistate investigations and legal actions remain ongoing.
Joining Attorney General Herring in today’s settlement are the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, the Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia.
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