Consulting firm McKinsey pays $573 million to US states because of its role in the opiate epidemic in the US. For years, McKinsey advised some major drug manufacturers how to increase their sales, for example, by targeting advertising for heavy painkillers on people prone to addiction.
The use of opiates in the United States is excessive compared to other Western countries. The problem lies to a large extent with the major pharmaceutical companies. In their competition, for example, they allocate money to doctors to prescribe their brand of medicine to patients. Over the past two decades, an estimated 400,000 Americans have died from the misuse of painkillers.
McKinseys top man Sneader says that the company regrets that it has not properly recognized the effects of the opiate epidemic on the community.
Most of the money goes to dozens of states that have long litigation against major pharmaceuticals. In recent years, manufacturers such as Purdue Pharma (from the drug OxyContin) and Johnson & Johnson have also made arrangements to prevent a go to court.
Also in the Netherlands, opiates are often prescribed and swallowed. In 2019, Nieuwsuur and the platform for investigative journalism Investico devoted attention to it. A pain researcher from the Leiden University Medical Center spoke of a silent epidemic in the Netherlands.
Rehab is particularly difficult for those who become addicted to such an analgesic: