France Hired McKinsey to Help in the Pandemic. Then Came the Questions.


No one is accusing McKinsey of wrongdoing. The company has strategically rolled out its pandemic consulting companies in a swath of different nations worldwide, together with Britain, the place it secured 1.1 million pounds (about $1.5 million) in contracts to advise the Covid-19 activity pressure and to decide the National Health Service’s testing capability. In the United States, the agency has been awarded over $100 million in Covid-19 contracts by federal, state and metropolis companies.

In France, well being companies contracted with McKinsey and different consultants for assist in executing its vaccine rollout, scheduled for Dec. 28, after the European Union secured a belated take care of pharmaceutical corporations for hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses for member nations in mid-November.

The well being minister, Olivier Véran, defended the choice after the contracts, first reported by Politico, got here to gentle in January.

“It’s not the first time that we have called on private partners,” he informed the French Senate. He added that McKinsey was serving to with “the practical, operational and logistic challenges of our vaccine strategy,” however performed no position in coverage choices.

Most of McKinsey’s work in France is with company shoppers. Even so, McKinsey has maintained shut ties to a succession of French governments, and a few officers have beforehand labored for McKinsey.

France ramped up its use of consultants in latest years, creating devoted budgets that companies might faucet to name in outdoors advisers as wanted. In 2018, McKinsey was chosen as one in all a number of go-to consultants accessible for hire by French companies, in a pooled 100 million euro contract. That meant any of the companies might choose one in all the companies with out being required to search bids on the work.

The December contracts, and one other in mid-January, totaling €4 million, had been from that pooled settlement. It referred to as for McKinsey to assist outline distribution routes for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which should be saved as chilly as minus 80 levels Celsius throughout transport and storage. The company would benchmark France’s efficiency towards different European nations. McKinsey specialists would additionally assist coordinate a vaccination activity pressure of officers from quite a few companies, with some choice chains involving up to 50 authorities.


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