Opioids Collections

McKinsey & Company Documents


Date Range: 2007 – 2019; bulk 2014 – 2018

Overview and Background

McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm that works with commercial, government and nonprofit organizations across diverse industries. It has tens of thousands of employees in more than 100 cities and dozens of countries. McKinsey has a longstanding policy of not disclosing clients' names or the advice it gives.

From at least the early 2000s until 2019, McKinsey worked with opioid manufacturers including Purdue Pharma, Endo, Janssen (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) and Mallinckrodt. It also advised public agencies and nonprofits on opioid-related work. McKinsey’s involvement in the opioid crisis was revealed in January 2019 with the release of documents from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s litigation against Purdue. In May 2019, McKinsey announced that it would cease all opioid-related business.

In February and March 2021, McKinsey settled lawsuits with all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories over its work with the opioid industry. The settlement totaled $641.5 million and led to the release of approximately 114,000 documents produced in the litigation. The documents in this collection come from McKinsey's files and are being publicly released under the terms of the multi-state settlement. The agreement requires McKinsey to retain internal electronic documents for five years and provide conflict disclosures to government clients.

In November 2021, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform began an investigation into McKinsey, particularly its work simultaneously advising opioid manufacturers and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In April 2022, the Committee published an interim staff report that "uncovered significant, years-long conflicts of interest at McKinsey." A hearing that month examined the report's preliminary findings and McKinsey's role in the opioid epidemic.


Documents include: scopes of work and proposals; presentations for internal discussion and clients; employee self-evaluations; white papers; calendar meetings; spreadsheets for project staffing, and emails responding to announcements of increased restrictions on opioids.
The collection also includes letters from regulatory agencies in response to new drug applications from opioid manufacturers; preparation materials for regulatory advisory committee meetings; opioid-related transition documents for state and federal agencies; and other internal documents.

Documents were redacted for PII and PHI by McKinsey’s legal team. The Opioid Industry Documents Archive contracted with a legal review company to review a sample of the documents to verify appropriate redaction of PII and PHI.

Where to Start...

List of McKinsey Project Names

Key Legal Documents

Master Complaint from multi-district litigation
Massachusetts complaint v. Purdue Pharma, Sacklers, et al.
Ad hoc group response Part 1 and Part 2 for Purdue Pharma in bankruptcy court
McKinsey multi-state settlement which includes the document repository terms

Notable McKinsey Documents and Related Topics

Evolve to Excellence (E2E)
Project Scottsdale
Work with Industry and FDA
Total Earnings
Record Retention
Other Lines of Inquiry

Related Resources

See our annotated bibliography for more resources providing context of the McKinsey litigation