Facing mounting pressure about its role in the opioid crisis, McKinsey has taken the unusual step of acknowledging that its work with Purdue Pharma fell short of its standards and vowed a full internal review of its actions, including the possible destruction of documents.
Criticism of the world’s most prestigious consulting firm has intensified since The New York Times reported last month that McKinsey had discussed ways for Purdue to “turbocharge” sales of its drug OxyContin, proposing that it pay distributors rebates for overdoses linked to the pills they sold.
Lawmakers — both Democrats and Republicans — have called for McKinsey to be investigated, and a prominent physician employed by the firm said executives who knew of this work should resign.
Two senior partners at McKinsey discussed whether to purge records related to Purdue, according to documents recently filed in connection with the drugmaker’s bankruptcy proceedings.
McKinsey rarely acknowledges mistakes and has never before accepted responsibility for helping Purdue sell more opioids, even as hundreds of thousands of people were abusing the highly addictive painkiller.
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