North Carolina to receive nearly $19M from McKinsey & Co. opioid abuse settlement

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid epidemic was dominating headlines. And now, about two years later, North Carolina is about to receive a fat check to fight off the epidemic.

State Attorney General Josh Stein announced Thursday nearly $19 million will arrive in 60 days following a settlement with McKinsey & Company -- the firm consulted with Purdue Pharma to market and sell high doses of OxyContin to doctors and prescribers.

"They must clean up the mess they've made," said Stein.

The settlement is part of a larger deal with nearly all 50 states and the District of Columbia totaling $573 million dollars. Under the agreement, McKinsey will not admit wrongdoing but will have to make documents public involved in the investigation.
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The global business consultant McKinsey & Co. has agreed to pay nearly $600 million for its role in the opioid crisis.

"These funds must go to abating the crisis," said Stein.

The attorney general says most of the money awarded will arrive this spring and will be distributed across the state to treatment centers and other programs.

Stein's office estimates 2,000 people die every year from an opioid overdose.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 79 percent of drug overdose deaths in North Carolina were from opioids.

Stein says in 2019 the overdose rate had dropped but then the pandemic hit but has sadly been reversed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The unemployment, the isolation, anxiety and disruption this pandemic has unleashed that has led to a rise in evictions and overdoses greater than ever," said Stein.

North Carolina reached a $1.6 billion dollar settlement last year with another opioid manufacturer -- Mallinckrodt -- but that money has not been delivered yet.

The AG office says more suits are pending against distributors and other manufacturers.
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