McKinsey & Co. reportedly will pay more than $550 million to settle claims by U.S. states that it helped fuel the opioid epidemic by providing marketing advice to drugmakers including Purdue Pharma and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) - Get Report.
Bloomberg reported on Thursday that McKinsey will pay about 80% of the $550 million immediately to shore up treatment programs and boost police budgets taxed by behavior related to expanded abuse of the addictive painkillers.
The remainder of the settlement will be paid over four years. More than 45 states signed off on the settlement, according to Bloomberg. McKinsey won’t acknowledge any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.
New York-based McKinsey was accused of offering Purdue Pharma advice on how to “turbocharge” sales of its OxyContin painkiller at a time when the legal market for the opioid-based medicine was shrinking due to a wave of negative publicity.
McKinsey officials in December issued a formal apology for their work. “We recognize that we did not adequately acknowledge the epidemic unfolding in our communities or the terrible impact of opioid misuse,” McKinsey said.
More than 3,000 state and local governments have targeted opioid makers and distributors in hopes of recouping billions in tax dollars spent dealing with the fallout of the U.S. opioid epidemic. More than 400,000 Americans have died over the past two decades from overdoses tied to opioid-based drugs.