Trudeau Backs Barton as Questions Raised on McKinsey Function


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed his help for Dominic Barton on Tuesday when he was requested about whether or not the ambassador to Beijing knew something concerning the opioid gross sales enhance recommendation that McKinsey & Co offered Purdue Pharma throughout his management tenure.

Throughout a press convention on Tuesday, Trudeau was requested about Barton’s function in, and whether or not he had information of McKinsey’s work in boosting the gross sales of drug oxycontin, which pharmaceutical firm Purdue Pharma made when he was with the consulting agency.

“Dominic Barton is a unprecedented Canadian who’s doing nice work for us in China as Canada’s ambassador,” Trudeau replied. “He has a protracted historical past in enterprise and economics, and is the appropriate particular person to proceed shifting ahead at a really tough time in Canada-China relations.”

“His management on working exhausting to convey dwelling the 2 Michaels is a defence of Canadian pursuits, together with Canadian business pursuits, and his continued engagement on creating alternatives and development for Canadians makes him an impressive consultant,” he added. “I’m happy to have him by my aspect on the worldwide stage as we work very exhausting to face up for Canadian values and to maneuver ahead on constructing a greater future.”

Prior to his appointment because the ambassador to China on Sept. 4, 2019, Barton was the worldwide managing accomplice of McKinsey from 2009 to 2018—the interval when the consulting agency suggested Purdue Pharma on methods to extend the gross sales of oxycontin, a extremely addictive robust prescription ache medication that incorporates an opioid.

Barton’s resume additionally contains in depth expertise and relationships in China, the place he was as soon as primarily based in Shanghai because the Asia chairman from 2004 to 2009 at McKinsey. He’s additionally an adjunct professor at Tsinghua College in Beijing. In 2016, he assumed the function of chair for the Canadian Minister of Finance’s Advisory Council on Financial Progress.

OxyContin capsules are organized for a photograph at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt., on Feb. 19, 2013. (Toby Talbot/AP Photograph)

On Nov. 24, Purdue Pharma pleaded responsible to a few legal fees in a federal court docket in Newark, New Jersey. It admitted impeding the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) efforts to fight the opioid habit disaster in the USA from Might 2007 via no less than March 2017.

The pharmaceutical firm admitted that it hadn’t maintained an efficient program to stop prescribed drugs from being diverted to the black market, although it had advised the DEA it did have such a program, and that it offered deceptive info to the company as a approach to enhance firm manufacturing quotas.

It additionally admitted paying docs via a audio system program to induce them to jot down extra prescriptions for its painkillers between June 2009 and March 2017. The corporate additionally mentioned it paid an digital medical data firm to ship docs info on sufferers that inspired them to prescribe opioids together with oxycontin from April 2016 via December 2016.

Previous to that, a doc launched by a federal chapter court docket in New York on Sept. 22, mentioned that McKinsey was instrumental in advising Purdue Pharma to “turbocharge” its oxycontin gross sales by “focus[ing] its gross sales pressure intensely on high-volume opioid prescribers,” “battle[ing] again in opposition to efforts by the DEA, U.S DOJ [Department of Justice], and others to curb unlawful drug gross sales,” and “insist[ing] on growing gross sales with month-to-month accountability.”

When requested by Conservative MP Garnett Genuis for his feedback on the controversies surrounding McKinsey and Purdue throughout the assembly with the Canada-China committee on Dec. 8, Barton mentioned “I’d counsel strongly that you simply take a look at the assertion on the McKinsey web site, which is kind of detailed and clear about how they really feel what’s occurred.”

McKinsey’s assertion on Dec. 5 says the agency “didn’t adequately acknowledge the epidemic unfolding in our communities or the horrible affect of opioid misuse and habit on tens of millions of households throughout the nation.” It additionally says that even their work with Purdue Pharma “fell brief” of requirements and was “designed to help the authorized prescription and use of opioids for sufferers with reputable medical wants, and any suggestion that our work sought to extend overdoses or misuse and worsen a public well being disaster is incorrect.”

Canada’s Ambassador to China Dominic Barton waits to look earlier than the Home of Commons committee on Canada-China relations in Ottawa, Canada, on Feb. 5, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

When Genuis requested Barton if he agreed with the apology made by the assertion, Barton mentioned Genuis was simply “studying a really small half” of the assertion and so he didn’t assume it was a good illustration of the total image.

McKinsey’s controversies didn’t cease at Purdue Pharma. On Nov. 13, U.S Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) wrote a letter to the agency’s present international managing accomplice Kevin Sneader, elevating concern concerning the agency’s enterprise dealings with the Chinese language Communist Celebration (CCP), together with state-owned and state-run enterprises in China.

“I stay involved that McKinsey & Firm—both wittingly or unwittingly—is aiding the CCP’s try to supplant the USA and remake the worldwide group in its personal picture,” Rubio acknowledged within the letter.

The New York Instances reported in 2018 that McKinsey has been deeply concerned in Beijing’s Belt and Street Initiative, a program that may join Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks. However it is usually one which many concern “is an extension of efforts by the Chinese language Communist Celebration (CCP) to undermine the safety and financial structure of the worldwide order,” in keeping with The International Coverage.

But, Barton downplayed the issues in 2015.

“The world is ready for the ‘One Belt, One Street’ grand blueprint to maneuver from dream to actuality,” Barton and his colleagues wrote in a report revealed on the corporate’s Chinese language web site in Might 2015, reported The New York Instances, including that McKinsey holds its firm retreat in the Xinjiang metropolis of Kashgar, close to internment camps the place the U.S. State Division says greater than one million Uyghurs and different Muslim minority teams are held with out fees.


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