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As I See It

Drug settlement long overdue

Scott Robert Shaw

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Finally, some justice in the opioid scandal. A consulting firm has agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to more than 40 states, including Wisconsin, for helping the makers of Oxycontin flood the streets with their poison pills. The firm McKinsey and Co. will pay $573 million for its role in the opioid epidemic. According to the lawsuit, McKinsey helped drug company Purdue Pharma to maximize profits from sales of the powerful drug by targeting high-volume opioid prescribers, offering specific messages to get doctors to prescribe more of the drug and circumventing pharmacy restrictions to deliver high-dose prescriptions. This went on for more than a decade. They helped doctors prescribe more, which helped more people get hooked. Between 1999 and 2019,more than 9300 Wisconsinites have died of opioid addiction. Others have ended up in jail or with lost relationships. The good news is Wisconsin’s share of the settlement, more than $10 million, will go to help fight opioid addiction and try to end the opioid crisis. While it is good this settlement has been reached, it is regrettable that as part of the agreement with the states, McKinsey admits no guilt. But it is clear based on the number of zeroes in the check they are writing that they have plenty of blood on their hands.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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