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Nevada Negotiates $45 Million Opioid Settlement

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According to the CDC, in 2017, Nevada doctors wrote 55.5 opioid prescriptions for every 100 people, which is higher than the national average of 51.4 prescriptions. (Psiedelisto/Wikimedia Commons)
According to the CDC, in 2017, Nevada doctors wrote 55.5 opioid prescriptions for every 100 people, which is higher than the national average of 51.4 prescriptions. (Psiedelisto/Wikimedia Commons)
 By Suzanne Potter - Producer, Contact
March 23, 2021

CARSON CITY, Nev. -- The consulting firm McKinsey and Company has agreed to pay the State of Nevada $45 million for the company's role in the opioid crisis.

McKinsey is accused of using deceptive marketing practices as it advised drug manufacturers on ways to get doctors to write more prescriptions for highly addictive pain medications like OxyContin.

Aaron Ford, Nevada Attorney General, said the opioid epidemic has taken thousands of lives in the Silver State.

"The devastation caused by the opioid epidemic is felt by every mother and father who has lost a child," Ford stated. "It's felt by siblings who have lost a sister or a brother. It's felt by friends and colleagues who lost one of their own. And obviously, it's felt by those still suffering from an opioid addiction."

McKinsey admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement and maintains in a statement its past work was lawful.

Ford noted, however, the opioid problem is ongoing, and the state has seen an uptick in deaths and addiction during the pandemic.

He emphasized the state will use the money to fund programs that fight prescription-drug abuse.

Ford added other lawsuits against the drug manufacturers, are ongoing.

"This is the first of what I hope to be many other productive outcomes, some via litigation and others via settlement," Ford remarked. "And we will not rest until everyone responsible pays for the devastation that they have caused Nevadans."

Ford said the first installment of $23 million, is due in 45 days, and the remaining $22 million will go into state coffers in four months.

Nevada opted out of a larger, multistate lawsuit, which would have produced a smaller settlement of about $7 million for the state.

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