Top consulting firm McKinsey suggested Purdue Pharma give pharmacies rebates for OxyContin overdoses

One of the most prestigious consulting firms in the world, McKinsey & Company, advised Purdue Pharma to give pharmacy companies rebates for OxyContin overdoses in 2017, according to records released last week in a federal bankruptcy court in New York.

Documents submitted to the court last week revealed that McKinsey had allegedly given advice to members of the Sackler family on ways to boost sales of Oxycontin in the middle of the opioid epidemic, according to a report from The New York Times

The documents, filed on behalf of several states' attorneys general, reportedly revealed that during a 2017 meeting, Mckinsey allegedly suggested that Purdue give a rebate for every OxyContin overdose linked to the pills that pharmacy companies such as CVS sold, according to the Times. 

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The 2017 presentation allegedly estimated the number of customers of companies, including CVS and Anthem, who might overdose from OxyContin, according to the newspaper. 

McKinsey estimated 2,484 customers of CVS would overdose or become addicted to opioids in 2019, and it would pay a rebate of $14,810 “per event,” according to the documents obtained by the Times.

Press officers from CVS and Anthem told the Times the companies never received rebates from Purdue customers who overdosed on the drug. 

McKinsey's involvement with Purdue Pharma came to light after Massachusetts, one of the states suing Purdue, released documents last year that linked the two companies.

The documents reportedly showed that the consulting company was helping Purdue find a way to counter the "emotional" messaging from concerned mothers with children that have overdosed, according to the Times.  

Purdue pleaded guilty to three federal criminal charges this week related to some of its sales and marketing practices associated with the potent painkiller Oxycontin.