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Indiana gets $12.5M settlement for McKinsey's role in opioid crisis

Indiana’s share of the settlement will be used to fund prevention, education and treatment efforts in local communities.

INDIANAPOLIS — The state of Indiana will get a $12.5 million settlement as part of a $573 million multi-state settlement with a consulting firm's role in the opioid crisis.

Attorney General Todd Rokita announced the news Thursday morning.

The global business consulting firm McKinsey & Company has agreed to a $573 million settlement over its role in advising companies on how to "supercharge" opioid sales amid an overdose crisis, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

“The opioid epidemic has devastated communities in Indiana and across the nation, claiming far too many lives,” Rokita said. “We owe it to Hoosier families to hold those responsible for this crisis accountable and deliver the justice they deserve. I want to thank the attorneys in my office who have worked tirelessly to reach this historic settlement, which will bring substantial and immediate relief to communities across the state.”

Indiana’s $12,579,158 share of the settlement will be used to fund prevention, education and treatment efforts in local communities.  

Gov. Eric Holcomb issued the following statement after the settlement was announced Thursday: 

“From the first day of my administration, I made combatting the drug epidemic a top priority, and that includes holding accountable those who created and fueled this crisis. I want to thank the Attorney General and his office for their work on this settlement that will help fund prevention, education and treatment efforts. No amount of money can undo the devastating toll inflicted by the opioid epidemic, but this is another step toward helping Hoosier families recover from this national crisis.”

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State and local governments have been filing lawsuits over the past few years against companies that make and sell prescription opioids for their role in the crisis, but going after a consulting firm is a new wrinkle in the litigation.

McKinsey provided documents used in legal proceedings regarding OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, including some that describe its efforts to help the company try to "supercharge" opioid sales in 2013, as reaction to the overdose crisis was taking a toll on prescribing.

Documents made public in Purdue proceedings last year include include emails among McKinsey. One from 2008, a year after the company first pleaded guilty to opioid-related crimes, says board members, including a Sackler family member, "'blessed' him to do whatever he thinks is necessary to 'save the business.'"

Purdue is in bankruptcy court to try to settle lawsuits against it. The company has proposed a settlement that could be worth $10 billion over time. The company last year also pleaded guilty to criminal charges in part of a settlement with the federal government. Both Purdue and members of the Sackler family who own the firm agreed to pay $225 million to the U.S. government as part of the deal.

Credit: AP
FILE - This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma launched an ad campaign Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, to tell people harmed by their powerful prescription opioid where they can file claims against the company. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

NOTE: Purdue University is not and has never been affiliated in any way with Purdue Pharma. The pharmaceutical company was founded in Manhattan in 1892 by John Purdue Gray and George Frederick Bingham as the Purdue Frederick Company. Purdue University was founded in 1869 as Indiana’s land-grant institution, named for benefactor John Purdue.