Midwest states join national $573 million opioid settlement; funds to aid treatment programs

February 17, 2021

Every Midwestern state joined a national settlement with the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. over its role in advising pharmaceutical companies to promote the use of high-dose opioids. Under terms of the deal agreed to in early February, McKinsey will pay $573 million to 47 states, the District of Columbia and five territories. (Washington and West Virginia reached separate settlements with McKinsey, while Nevada declined to settle.)

According to The New York Times, McKinsey admits no wrongdoing, but “will agree to court-ordered restrictions on its work with some types of addictive narcotics.” The company will also make tens of thousands of pages of documents available in a public database, shedding light on its role in advising opioid companies.

Announcements from state attorneys general in the Midwest indicated that each state’s settlement money will be used to boost funding for ongoing opioid treatment programs. Minnesota and Nebraska are among the states that have laws in place directing how any opioid settlement funds are to be spent.

Ohio’s $24.7 million will be split via a memorandum of understanding with local governments on how to distribute settlement funds: 30 percent going directly to local governments; 15 percent to the state attorney general’s office (in order to leverage statewide buying power for prevention, treatment and recovery support services); and the remaining 55 percent to the OneOhio Recovery Foundation. The latter is a state-local partnership established in 2020; it oversees funding programs addressing prevention, treatment and long-term recovery; criminal justice; and public awareness.