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New Hampshire to receive $3.3 million in settlement against McKinsey over opioid lawsuit

Monitor staff
Published: 2/4/2021 5:11:59 PM

New Hampshire will receive $3.3 million from a multi-state settlement against McKinsey & Company, a high-profile consulting firm that was sued after its involvement with Purdue Pharma and the opioid crisis, New Hampshire’s attorney general office said Thursday.

The money, part of a $573 million settlement with 47 states and the District of Columbia announced Wednesday, will be devoted to opioid treatment and prevention programs in the state, per the terms of the settlement. It’s the first settlement payout so far out of a range of legal actions filed by New Hampshire and other states against opioid manufacturers.

McKinsey & Company, an international consulting firm, came under heavy criticism after admitting in December that it had worked with Purdue Pharma and other companies to continue marketing opioids like OxyContin even as research had established that they were addictive and deadly. McKinsey’s involvement had first come to light in documents released in the bankruptcy case of Purdue, which has also been the subject of lawsuits.

According to the documents, McKinsey consultants proposed a number of ways for Purdue to continue aggressively marketing OxyContin despite the dangers, including a proposal to provide cash rebates to pharmacies for every patient who overdosed as result of the opioids. McKinsey consultants also acknowledged a plan to delete documents and emails laying out its involvement, the court documents revealed.

This week’s settlement came after attorneys general in 47 states threatened civil action against McKinsey, which issued an apology for its participation in December. 

New Hampshire’s $3.3 million will be disbursed over five years and be put into a fund set up by the Legislature in 2020 to combat the state’s opioid epidemic. 

In the agreement, McKinsey also pledged to cooperate and continue an investigation into the alleged destruction attempts by two McKinsey partners, to stop advising companies selling Schedule II and III narcotics, and to adopt an ethics code and a plan a document retention plan moving forward. 

In a statement, Sununu said the settlement was part of several attempts to “hold all bad actors accountable” in what is been a health crisis for the state the past five years.

“This crisis has devastated countless lives in New Hampshire, and this multistate settlement should deter irresponsible and greedy corporations from fueling this epidemic,” he said. “I thank the Department of Justice for their work on this case.”

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