McKinsey is under criminal investigation for its opioid work

McKinsey is under criminal investigation for its opioid work

The New York Times reports:

The Justice Department is investigating McKinsey & Company, the international consulting giant, for its role in helping drug companies maximize their sale of opioids.

The investigation is led by the U.S. attorneys’ offices in Massachusetts and the Western District of Virginia in coordination with the department’s civil division in Washington, according to two officials familiar with the case who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Since 2021, McKinsey has agreed to pay about $1 billion to settle investigations and lawsuits across the United States related to the firm’s work with opioid makers, principally Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. McKinsey recommended that Purdue “turbocharge” its sales of the drug in the midst of the opioid crisis, which has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans. McKinsey has not admitted any wrongdoing.

News of the criminal investigation was first reported by The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

The investigation has been underway for several years. Endo, a pharmaceutical company that hired McKinsey to advise on the sale of the opioid Opana, said in a regulatory filing that it received a subpoena in December 2020 from the Western District of Virginia seeking information about McKinsey. The New York Times reported on the existence of that subpoena in 2022. Last year another opioid maker, Mallinckrodt, said it received a grand jury subpoena from the same U.S. attorney’s office but did not mention any connection to McKinsey.

Federal prosecutors are also looking into whether McKinsey obstructed justice in its handling of records, according to The Journal. [Continue reading…]

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