McKinsey’s hedge fund affiliate may profit from the firm’s $573M opioid settlement

New York City-based consulting firm McKinsey on Feb. 4 agreed to pay $573 million to settle investigations into counsel it provided to Purdue Pharma and other opioid drugmakers, but a hedge fund affiliate fully owned by the firm may benefit from that money, NBC News reported Feb. 8.

The agreement settles allegations made by 49 states that the consulting firm advised Purdue Pharma and other opioid drugmakers to ramp up sales during a time when the government and pharmaceutical industry was aware that hundreds of thousands of Americans had died from opioid overdoses. 

McKinsey was ordered to pay $478 million of the settlement within 60 days, and the money will be allocated for opioid treatment, prevention and recovery programs. MIO Partners, a hedge fund wholly owned by McKinsey, holds indirect stakes in addiction treatment centers and a drugmaker that manufactures products that treat opioid overdoses. 

Investment records also show MIO Partners held stakes in companies that profited from increased opioid usage during the time McKinsey was advising opioid drugmakers to "turbocharge" their opioid sales, according to NBC News.

A McKinsey spokesperson told NBC News the firm "has no visibility into or control of how settlement money will be used by the states." He also said McKinsey and MIO Partners are "operationally separate."

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