NEW YORK, February 4, 2021 – McKinsey & Company today reached settlements with 49 State Attorneys General, five territories and the District of Columbia, related to the firm’s past advisory work for opioid manufacturers. McKinsey will pay nearly $600 million, which the states will use to address the impact of the opioid epidemic in their communities, and McKinsey has reaffirmed the commitment it made two years ago not to advise clients on any opioid-related business anywhere in the world.
As part of the agreement, the Attorneys General recognized McKinsey’s “good faith and responsible corporate citizenship in reaching this resolution.” McKinsey believes its past work was lawful and has denied allegations to the contrary. The settlement agreements themselves contain no admission of wrongdoing or liability.
Kevin Sneader, Global Managing Partner of McKinsey, said, “We chose to resolve this matter in order to provide fast, meaningful support to communities across the United States. We deeply regret that we did not adequately acknowledge the tragic consequences of the epidemic unfolding in our communities. With this agreement, we hope to be part of the solution to the opioid crisis in the U.S.”
Over the last two years, McKinsey has significantly improved its risk and governance processes. These upgrades include:
- Adopting a best-in-class client service policy to guide what clients the firm serves and on what topics. See more: https://www.mckinsey.com/about-us/overview/our-governance/client-service-policies
- Adopting and enforcing a code of conduct which leaves no room for doubt as to the high standards required of every colleague. See more: https://www.mckinsey.com/about-us/social-responsibility/code-of-conduct
- Strengthening and scaling up the firm’s control functions and hiring a new General Counsel with government service experience and a deep background in ethics and governance.
- Enhancing the firm’s professional standards training and introducing an anonymous concerns hotline to embed and reinforce the firm’s high expectations for all colleagues.
McKinsey terminated the employment of two partners, who had communicated about document deletion, for violating the firm’s professional standards.
“As I have said previously, we are determined to take the steps necessary to strengthen our firm’s risk management policies and culture,” said Mr. Sneader. “We will build on the steps we have already taken to learn from past mistakes, and ensure we consistently meet the high standards our firm has always aspired to.”
As noted above, and consistent with its policy decision in 2019 to stop any and all opioid-related work, McKinsey has further committed to refraining from accepting any future client engagements relating to the discovery, development, manufacture, marketing, promotion, advertising, recall, withdrawal, monitoring, sale, prescribing, use or abuse of any opioid product. The firm also has agreed to participate in the public disclosure of documents relating to McKinsey’s past work for opioid manufacturers.
More information about today’s announcement can be found at: www.mckinsey.com/about-us/opioidfacts
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