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Consulting agency McKinsey and Co. has agreed to pay $78 million to settle claims from insurers and well being care funds that its work with drug firms helped gas an opioid dependancy disaster.

The settlement was revealed late Friday in paperwork filed in federal courtroom in San Francisco. The settlement should nonetheless be accepted by a choose.

Underneath the settlement, McKinsey would set up a fund to reimburse insurers, non-public profit plans and others for some or all of their prescription opioid prices.

The insurers argued that McKinsey labored with Purdue Pharma – the maker of OxyContin – to create and make use of aggressive advertising and marketing and gross sales techniques to beat medical doctors’ reservations in regards to the extremely addictive medication. Insurers mentioned that pressured them to pay for prescription opioids somewhat than safer, non-addictive and lower-cost medication, together with over-the-counter ache medicine. In addition they needed to pay for the opioid dependancy therapy that adopted.

From 1999 to 2021, almost 280,000 folks within the U.S. died from overdoses of prescription opioids, in response to the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management. Insurers argued that McKinsey labored with Purdue Pharma even after the extent of the opioid disaster was obvious.

The settlement is the most recent in a years-long effort to carry McKinsey accountable for its function within the opioid epidemic. In February 2021, the corporate agreed to pay almost $600 million to U.S. states, the District of Columbia and 5 U.S. territories. In September, the corporate introduced a separate, $230 million settlement settlement with faculty districts and native governments.


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Requested for remark Saturday, McKinsey referred to a press release the corporate launched in September.

“As we have now acknowledged beforehand, we proceed to imagine that our previous work was lawful and deny allegations on the contrary,” the corporate mentioned, including that it reached a settlement to keep away from protracted litigation.

McKinsey mentioned it stopped advising shoppers on any opioid-related enterprise in 2019.

Comparable settlements have led to almost $50 billion being paid out to state and native governments. The funds come from almost a dozen firms, together with CVS and RiteAid, that have been sued for his or her function in fueling the overdose epidemic.  

Advocates say the inflow of cash presents a singular alternative for the U.S. to fund therapy options for substance use problems, however a KFF Well being Information investigation discovered that a lot of the cash has sat untouched. 

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