AG Brnovich Reaches $573 Million Multistate Settlement with McKinsey & Company for Role in 'Turbocharging' Opioid Epidemic

Arizona to Receive More than $13 Million to Abate Harms

PHOENIX – Attorney General Mark Brnovich, along with a coalition of attorneys general from 47 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories, have reached a $573 million settlement with one of the world’s largest consulting firms, McKinsey & Company (McKinsey). The settlement resolves investigations into the company’s role in working for opioid companies, helping those companies promote their drugs, and profiting from the opioid epidemic.
The settlement, after payment of costs, will be used to abate problems caused by opioids in participating states. Arizona will receive $13,350,614.04 from the settlement, pending court approval. This is the first multistate opioid settlement to result in a substantial opioid-related payment to the states to address the epidemic.

"This is just another step in the journey of holding companies accountable for their role in the opioid epidemic,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. "Even though no amount of money can bring back the lives lost, I hope our settlement provides the funding needed for programs to help those battling opioid addiction. We will continue to hold individuals and corporations responsible for putting profits over the health of Arizonans.”

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 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. 

Today’s filings describe 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. The complaint 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 to deliver high-dose prescriptions.

When 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.

McKinsey's work for opioid manufacturers extended beyond Purdue. McKinsey collected millions of dollars designing and implementing marketing programs similar to those it created for Purdue for the country's largest opioid manufacturers, including Johnson & Johnson and Endo, increasing the sale and use of opioids in Arizona.  

Today’s filing is the latest action that the Attorney General's Office (AGO) has taken to combat the opioid epidemic and hold bad actors accountable.

The AGO also offers a free opioid awareness and prevention program for the public. Additionally, the AGO launched training for faith leaders and law enforcement across Arizona on how to administer Narcan, a life-saving opioid overdose reversal medication. The faith leader training is part of a toolkit created by the AGO to help churches and places of worship better serve the needs of parishioners who are battling addiction.