$1.5M in opioid settlement money going toward preventing child abuse in Alabama

Alabama will receive a total of $9 million from the McKinsey opioid settlement.

Posted: Oct 24, 2021 8:45 PM
Updated: Oct 25, 2021 5:51 PM

More than $1 million from the McKinsey & Company opioid settlement will now go toward preventing child abuse in Alabama — $1.5 million, in fact. 

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall recently distributed the funds to the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention. The investment could help reduce harmful experiences driven by parents who are addicted to opioids. 

Data suggests a large percentage of children enter foster care in Alabama because of parental substance abuse and that child neglect accounts for more than 60% of child removals from the home, according to the AG's office.

“Children are the invisible victims of the opioid epidemic," ADCANP Director Sallye Longshore said. "Not only does parental substance abuse often lead to the abuse and neglect of children, but abused and neglected children tend to grow up to be substance-dependent adults. Our goal at ADCANP is to break this cycle, and we have developed the evidence-based programs to do just that."

This is the third distribution of funds from the settlement. It comes after the state and McKinsey reached an agreement in February. 

The AGO claimed McKinsey furthered the opioid crisis "by promoting marketing schemes and consulting services to opioid manufacturers, including OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, for more than a decade."

The complaint says McKinsey advised Purdue on how to maximize profits from its opioid product by targeting opioid prescribers, using specific wording to get doctors to prescribe more OxyContin and getting around pharmacy restrictions to deliver high-dose prescriptions. 

Alabama will receive a total of $9 million as part of the settlement. It is the first multistate opioid settlement that will help address the crisis. Some of the money will go towards drug courts and the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences to help reduce backlogs from opioid-related cases. 

A trial against Endo Pharmaceuticals and McKesson Corporation is set to begin Nov. 1. The Alabama AGO said it also "has pending claims against opioid manufacturers Purdue Pharma, Mallinckrodt and Insys in each of their respective bankruptcy cases."

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