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Montana to Receive $1.9 Million from Multi-State Settlement with McKinsey & Company for its Role in the Opioid Epidemic

Montana’s Attorney General Austin Knudsen has joined a coalition of attorneys general from 47 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories in a $573 million settlement with one of the world’s largest consulting firms, McKinsey & Company, resolving 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 will be used to abate problems caused by opioids in the participating states. Montana will receive $1.86 million from the multi-state settlement. This is the first multi-state opioid settlement to result in substantial payment to the states to address the epidemic. The Department of Justice represented Montana in this multi-state investigation and settlement.

“Opioid addiction harms far more than individuals who have died from an overdose or who struggle with addiction. Families, communities, and our entire state feel its effects every day,” Attorney General Knudsen said. “The Department of Justice is working to provide resources to the prosecutors and law enforcement on the front lines and will continue to hold accountable those who caused this crisis.”

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, filed with 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 communities in Montana over the last 20 years. During this time, hundreds have died from an opioid overdose. These deaths—and the impacts on thousands of Montanans who have struggled with opioid addiction—have created considerable costs to our state in the form of health care, child welfare, criminal justice, and many other programs needed to lessen the epidemic. It has also resulted in lost economic opportunity and productivity. On the social level, opioid addiction, abuse, and overdose deaths have torn apart families, damaged relationships, and harmed communities.

View the complaint here. View the consent judgement here.