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Miss. to receive $5M from multi-state settlement to fight opioid crisis

This is the first multi-state opioid settlement to result in payments to several states to...
This is the first multi-state opioid settlement to result in payments to several states to address the epidemic.(Source: Pexels | Source: Pexels)
Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 5:50 PM CST
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(Editor’s note: This story was originally published February 4, 2021 at 9:06 AM CST - Updated February 4 at 11:43 AM on wlbt.com)

JACKSON, Miss. (Great Health Divide) - Millions of dollars is headed to Mississippi to fight our opioid crisis after a $573-million settlement with one of the world’s largest consulting firms, McKinsey & Company.

Mississippi Attorney General Fitch is one of 47 attorneys general to help reach the agreement that directs over $5 million dollars to Mississippi, the state says.

FItch says the settlement resolves investigations into the company’s work for opioid companies, helping those companies promote their drugs and profiting from the opioid epidemic they helped create.

“Nearly 60% of drug overdose deaths in Mississippi in 2018 involved opioids. This epidemic is killing our loved ones and our neighbors. It is tearing apart our communities and our families,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch. “This settlement is a step toward holding companies accountable for the role they played in this epidemic and toward healing Mississippi.”

The settlement, after payment of costs, is expected to be used to abate problems caused by opioids in the participating states. Mississippi will receive just over $5 million from the multistate settlement.

This is the first multi-state opioid settlement to result in substantial payment to the states to address the epidemic, officials say.

In addition to providing funds to address the crisis, the agreement calls for McKinsey to:

  • prepare tens of thousands of its internal documents detailing its work for Purdue Pharma and other opioid companies for public disclosure online,
  • adopt a strict document retention plan, continue its investigation into allegations that two of its partners tried to destroy documents in response to investigations of Purdue Pharma,
  • implement a strict ethics code that all partners must agree to each year
  • stop advising companies on potentially dangerous Schedule II and III narcotics

In addition to Mississippi, attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, the District of Columbia, and the territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands also joined the settlement.

Great Health Divide is an initiative addressing health disparities in the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia funded in part by the Google News Initiative.

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