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Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Consulting firm McKinsey & Company advised Purdue Pharma, producer of the addictive painkiller OxyContin, to give drug distributors a rebate for every OxyContin overdose attributable to pills they sold, according to bankruptcy filings obtained and reviewed by the New York Times.

Why it matters: It was one of several options McKinsey gave the Sackler family, Purdue’s owners, to drive sales of the drug, at a time when opioid abuse had already killed thousands of people in the U.S.

Details: A 2017 presentation from McKinsey projected how many customers of distributors, including CVS and Anthem, might overdose or develop a use disorder.

  • The consulting company projected that in 2019 2,484 CVS customers would either overdose or develop an opioid addiction and that Purdue would pay CVS a $36.8 million rebate that year.
  • Rebates and other strategies were McKinsey's attempts to help Purdue find a way “to counter the emotional messages from mothers with teenagers that overdosed” on OxyContin.

CVS and Anthem told NYT they never received such rebates.

  • In 2018, McKinsey began to worry about legal backlash from taking on Purdue as a client, and senior members of the firm asked whether the company should prepare for lawsuits by “eliminating all our documents and emails.”
  • "It is not known whether consultants at the firm went on to destroy any records," according to NYT.

The big picture: Purdue pleaded guilty on Tuesday to three criminal charges, including impeding the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s efforts to combat the addiction crisis and and paying illegal kickbacks to doctors.

Go deeper

Read: Former Vice President Walter Mondale's last message

Photo courtesy of Mondale.

Former Vice President Walter Mondale wrote a farewell letter to his staff, sent upon his death on Monday, thanking them for years working together.

Dear Team,

Well my time has come. I am eager to rejoin Joan and Eleanor. Before I Go I wanted to let you know how much you mean to me. Never has a public servant had a better group of people working at their side!

Together we have accomplished so much and I know you will keep up the good fight.

Joe in the White House certainly helps.

I always knew it would be okay if I arrived some place and was greeted by one of you!

My best to all of you!

Fritz

Former Vice President Walter Mondale dies at 93

Walter Mondale, left, with former President Jimmy Carter in Jan. 2018 at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota's campus in Minneapolis. Photo: Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Walter Mondale, who transformed the role of U.S. vice president while serving under Jimmy Carter and was the Democratic nominee for president in 1984, died Monday at 93, according to a family spokesperson.

The big picture: President Biden, who was mentored by Mondale through the years, said in 2015 that the former vice president gave him a "roadmap" to successfully take on the job.

Scoop: U.S. ambassador refuses Kremlin push to leave Russia

U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan. Photo: Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS via Getty Images

The United States ambassador to Russia is refusing to leave the country after the Kremlin "advised" him to return home following new Biden administration sanctions, two sources briefed on the situation tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Sullivan, a respected diplomat who President Biden has, so far, retained from the Trump era, is at the center of one of the most important early tests of Biden's resolve.