McKinsey & Company advised Purdue Pharma to pay pharmacies when their customers overdosed on OxyContin: report
Image: Paramedics load woman into ambulance (

The scandal over major corporations causing an overdose crisis expanded on Friday with a bombshell report in The New York Times.

"When Purdue Pharma agreed last month to plead guilty to criminal charges involving OxyContin, the Justice Department noted the role an unidentified consulting company had played in driving sales of the addictive painkiller even as public outrage grew over widespread overdoses," the newspaper reported. "Documents released last week in a federal bankruptcy court in New York show that the adviser was McKinsey & Company, the world’s most prestigious consulting firm."

McKinsey reportedly had a plan to reimburse distributors every time one of their customers was killed by OxyContin.

"In a 2017 presentation, according to the records, which were filed in court on behalf of multiple state attorneys general, McKinsey laid out several options to shore up sales. One was to give Purdue’s distributors a rebate for every OxyContin overdose attributable to pills they sold," The Times reported. "The presentation estimated how many customers of companies including CVS and Anthem might overdose. It projected that in 2019, for example, 2,484 CVS customers would either have an overdose or develop an opioid use disorder. A rebate of $14,810 per 'event' meant that Purdue would pay CVS $36.8 million that year."

CVS and Anthem denied receiving rebates.