SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — Outgoing California Attorney General Xavier Bacerra announced a $573 million national settlement Thursday with McKinsey & Company over the firm’s role in the opioid crisis that “has left much of America in mourning.”
California was one of 47 states that joined together to sue one of the world’s largest consulting firms. For its participation, the state will receive $59,613,603.99 from the settlement, which will be used to abate the damage caused by opioids to families and communities in California.READ MORE: Longtime San Francisco Merchants Lament Recent Spike in Burglaries
“The abuse of opioids, not just by those who consumed these drugs, but by those who produced, marketed, distributed and dispensed them, has left much of America in mourning,” Becerra said. “We can’t bring back lost lives, but we can hold ringleaders accountable.”
In addition to providing funds to address the crisis, the agreement calls on 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 has also agreed to adopt a strict document retention plan and continue its investigation into allegations that two of its partners tried to destroy documents in response to investigations of Purdue Pharma.READ MORE: Fed Judge in SF Approves $650 Million Facebook Privacy Lawsuit Settlement
The settlement agreement describes 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.
California’s legal complaint, filed alongside 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.
The opioid epidemic has led to considerable harm to individuals and California’s communities.
In 2019, the California Department of Public Health reported 3,244 deaths related to an opioid overdose. The epidemic has resulted in considerable costs to the state in the form of healthcare, child welfare, criminal justice, and many other programmatic costs.MORE NEWS: UPDATE: Victim, Suspect Identified In Fatal Oakland Park Shooting in Front of Children
The Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program reveals that national suspected overdoses in 2020 rose 18 percent in March, 29 percent in April, and 42 percent in May compared to the same months in 2019.