Illinois to receive nearly $20 million in opioid settlement
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul speaks at the Illinois State Fair in 2019. (Capitol News Illinois file photo)
Raoul, other attorneys general settle with McKinsey for $573 million
By RAYMON TRONCOSO
Capitol News Illinois | Report For America
SPRINGFIELD — The state will receive $19.8 million from a settlement reached Thursday between a coalition of attorneys general, including Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, and the consulting firm McKinsey.
McKinsey has been investigated and sued by multiple states for its role in the opioid epidemic. The settlement, totaling $573 million, will be the first multistate settlement related to the opioid crisis to result in substantial payment, according to a Thursday release from Raoul’s office.
According to Raoul’s office, the settlement “will be used to abate and address the impact of the opioid epidemic throughout Illinois and the other participating states.”
“The opioid epidemic has devastated communities and families throughout Illinois and across the country,” Raoul said in that release. “Today’s settlement will hold McKinsey accountable for its role in perpetuating the opioid epidemic, but, even more significantly, will provide much-needed assistance in combating the epidemic’s effects.”
McKinsey was sued due to its work for Purdue Pharma, the company behind the manufacture of OxyContin, an addictive opioid, which helped exacerbate the opioid crisis. The states’ investigation of Purdue found the company had implemented marketing schemes presented by McKinsey to target vulnerable populations and push physicians to prescribe more opioids for over a decade.
According to the settlement, when states sued Purdue Pharma in 2019, McKinsey partners attempted to destroy evidence of their work for Purdue. Along with the monetary payments, the settlement also requires McKinsey to prepare tens of thousands of internal documents relating to its work for Purdue and other opioid companies, investigate the partners responsible for the attempted destruction of evidence, implement a strict ethics code and end its consulting work for companies involved in the sale and manufacture of Schedule II and Schedule III narcotics.
Raoul reached the settlement alongside 52 other attorneys general for 46 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories.
Raoul’s office currently has two other ongoing lawsuits related to the opioid epidemic. Raoul rejected a settlement from Purdue in 2019 and expanded his lawsuit against the company to include the Sackler family, which founded and owns Purdue Pharma. He also filed another lawsuit that same year against 16 other opioid manufacturers and distributors.
“I will continue to investigate and hold accountable the companies that have contributed to and profited from this public health crisis,” he said.
Illinois operates a 24-hour hotline for individuals suffering from opioid addiction which can be reached at helplineil.org or by calling 833-234-6343.
Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.