Attorney General Shapiro Fighting Pharmaceutical Dealers And Health Care Providers In Court

REPORTING LIVE, RACHEL MONJOVI, KDKA NEWS. THANKS FOR THE UPDATE THERE. GOOD NEWS FROM SHARPSBURG. THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL IS BRINGING A LAWSUIT AGAINST PURDUE PHARMA ACCUSING IT OF FUELING THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC. PENNSYLVANIA IS ONE OF THE STATES HARDEST HIT BY THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC. MONEY EDITOR JON DELANO TAKES A LOOK AT THE A.G.’S LAWSUIT AND WHAT IT IS HE HOPES TO ACCOMPLISH. Reporter: TWO BIG UPDATES FOR JOSH SHAPIRO. ON THURSDAY HIS OFFICE ARGUES IN COURT THAT UPMC CANNOT DENY HIGHMARK CUSTOMERS MEDICAL TREATMENT AFTER JUNE 30. SUING PURDUE PHARMA FOR ILLEGALLY HOOKING PENNSYLVANIANS ON OXYCONTIN. PURDUE PROVIDED THE JET FUEL TO THE HEROIN, FENTANYL, AND OPIOID CRISIS THAT CLAIMED THE LIVES OF 12 PENNSYLVANIANS EVERY SINGLE DAY. Reporter: SHAPIRO ALLEGES PURDUE PHARMA THAT SELLS OXYCONTIN PRODUCTS VIOLATED THE STATE’S UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES AND CONSUMER PROTECTION LAWS. THEY FLOODED THE MARKET USING A LEGION OF DRUG REPS OR DETAILERS TO PUSH THEIR PRODUCT OUT INTO THE MARKETPLACE. LIE ABOUT ITS QUALITIES, ITS PRODUCTS IN AN ATTEMPT TO GET PEOPLE HOOKED. AND OXYCONTIN IS HARDLY ASPIRIN. IT HAS THE SAME CHEMICAL MAKEUP AS HEROIN, AND SO FOUR OUT OF EVERY FIVE HEROIN USERS ACTUALLY STARTED WITH ILLEGAL PRESCRIPTION DRUGS LIKE AN OXYCONTIN. Reporter: THE A.G.’S OFFICE DOCUMENTED OVER 530,000 VISITS BY PURDUE PHARMA TO DOCTORS OFFICES AND PHARMACIES. THEY WOULD SHOW UP WITH GIFTS, AND THEY WOULD SHOW UP WITH ALL KINDS OF THINGS THAT THEY WOULD GIVE TO THESE DOCTORS, TRYING TO GET THEM TO PUSH THEIR PRODUCT. Reporter: FIGHTING DRUG COMPANIES ON ONE HAND AND MEDICAL PROVIDERS ON THE OTHER. AS SHAPIRO WOULD TAKE ON UPMC FOR DENYING HEALTH CARE TO HIGHMARK CUSTOMERS WHEN A CONSENT DECREE ENDS ON JUNE 30. SHAPIRO SAYS NON-PROFITS LIKE UPMC CAN’T PICK AND CHOOSE THEIR PATIENCE. WE THINK THAT VIOLATES OUR CHARITIES LAWS IN PENNSYLVANIA PLAIN AND SIMPLE. SO WE HAVE TAKEN THEM TO COURT ON THAT. WHAT WE’RE ASKING THE SUPREME COURT TO DO TOMORROW ON BASIC TERMS, JUST HIT THE PAUSE BUTTON ON THE CONSENT DECREES. ALLOW THEM TO STAY IN PLACE WHILE WE WORK THROUGH THESE LEGAL ISSUES THAT WE HAVE PRESENTED TO THE COURTS. AND NOW THE ORAL ARGUMENT BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT BEGINS TOMORROW MORNING AROUND 9:00 A.M. WITH ATTORNEYS FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND UPMC MAKING THEIR CASE, ANSWERING QUESTIONS FROM THE JUSTICES. WHILE THEY COULD ENACT LEGISLATION TO HELP HIGHMARK CUSTOMERS, I SPENT THE DAY YESTERDAY AND REPUBLICAN LEADERS SO FAR DON’T SEEM INCLINED TO PUT THOSE BILLS UP FAR VOTE.

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