Introduction to the Attorney General
Josh Shapiro serves as Pennsylvania’s Attorney General to represent victims of crime and abuse; defend individual rights; and hold the most powerful interests accountable to the law when they rip off or harm Pennsylvanians.
The son of a public school teacher and a pediatrician, Josh grew up seeing how compassion and serving others can change lives and strengthen an entire community. After earning his law degree at night from Georgetown, Josh and his high school sweetheart Lori returned to their hometown where they are raising their four children.Read More +
OAG By The Numbers
million (Restitution, Loan Cancellation and Other Relief)
The Big Fights:
Maintaining Access to Health Care in Western Pennsylvania
In June 2019, Attorney General Shapiro announced a landmark deal with the two largest healthcare providers in Western Pennsylvania that will protect healthcare access for people who live across the region.
The terms of the 10-year contract between these two organizations ends their longstanding dispute and ensures Highmark patients will have access to UPMC doctors and facilities and that UPMC patients will have access to Highmark resources as well.Read More +
Cracking Down on Illegal Firearms and Crime Guns
Understanding that illegally obtained guns and guns used for criminal activity pose a threat to everyday Pennsylvanians, the AG’s Office has launched several initiatives designed to partner with local law enforcement and work within existing laws to get criminal and unregistered guns off the street.Read More +
Combatting the Opioid Epidemic
Attorney General Shapiro believes that fighting the opioid crisis requires a multifaceted approach that goes beyond arrests and holds those who perpetuated this crisis accountable. The Office is committed to finding data-informed solutions to the epidemic, and has taken action to foster collaboration between law enforcement, the medical community, and social services to best serve those in need.
Taking Opioids off the StreetsWhile the OAG believes that those suffering from addiction need compassion and assistance, the Office will continue to take an aggressive stance in prosecuting the high-level dealers who pump poison into our communities. Since 2017, the OAG has taken more than 2.5 million doses of heroin and 1.7 million doses of fentanyl off the streets and have arrested an average of 4.5 dealers per day – a rate that is 11 percent higher than 2016. AG Shapiro has focused resources on combatting the diversion of legal opioids, resulting in the arrest of 750 individuals for the illegal diversion of prescription opioids in Pennsylvania communities. The OAG will continue to aggressively prosecute and disrupt supply lines for opioids in the coming years.
Holding Big Pharma Accountable for Poisoning Our Communities
A cornerstone of OAG’s strategy to combat the opioid crisis is to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in promoting and distributing these powerful drugs across the Commonwealth.
In 2019, Attorney General Shapiro sued Purdue Pharma, the manufacturers of Oxycontin, a popular and highly addictive painkiller. The AG alleged that the company pursued a hugely misleading advertising campaign that resulted in hundreds of thousands of unnecessary prescriptions that led many in the Commonwealth to develop a substance use disorder. The lawsuit seeks to end the practices that contributed to Pennsylvania’s opioids crisis and recover resources to support treatment efforts throughout the Commonwealth. AG Shapiro followed that lawsuit with separate litigation alleging that members of the Sackler family, who own Purdue Pharma, are personally liable for the opioid crisis because of their direct involvement in their company’s advertising campaign.
AG Shapiro is also one of the leaders in the national negotiations with AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson, and Johnson & Johnson to reach a global settlement of thousands of lawsuits related to their role in the crisis. Shapiro and three other Attorneys General announced a framework for the settlement in October 2019 and work continues to finalize the agreements. AG Shapiro is committed to delivering resources to Pennsylvania for use to expand treatment options and invest in education and prevention in our communities.
Expanding Access to Treatment
In May 2018, the OAG launched the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Treatment Initiative (LETI), in Somerset County. The program is a collaboration with law enforcement that helps Pennsylvanians suffering from substance use disorders get enrolled in a treatment program. The program allows those struggling with substance use disorder to walk into any police station and seek treatment without fear of being arrested.
In the past two years, LETI has expanded and now is implemented in Carbon, Schuylkill, Dauphin, and Northumberland counties. This program will continue to expand throughout the Commonwealth, and will also provide data to inform the community of medical professionals and law enforcement on how to best help individuals suffering from substance use disorder.
Fulfilling OAG’s Responsibilities
Attorney General Shapiro came into office with the belief that there were key areas in which OAG had the responsibility to do more for Pennsylvanians. He has focused on rebuilding the office’s complement in key areas, rejuvenating parts of the office that were under-resourced and developing new approaches to the problems Pennsylvanians face each and every day.Read More +
A New Focus on Protecting Workers’ Rights
Hard-working Pennsylvanians deserve honest wages and fair treatment. Violating workers’ rights has an adverse effect on communities, particularly those most vulnerable and underpaid. In 2017, AG Shapiro created the Office of Attorney General’s first Fair Labor Section, dedicated to defending the rights of Pennsylvania workers and ensuring that employers do not steal wages, misclassify workers, and discriminate against employees.
Protecting Clean Air and Pure Water
AG Shapiro also reinvigorated the Office’s Environmental Crimes Section, focusing on protecting Pennsylvanians’ Constitutional Right to clean air and pure water.
The section has been critical in the ongoing effort to protect the environment from dangerous administration rules, and has primarily focused its efforts on stopping polluters and placing a check on dangerous behavior from fracking operations (as detailed by the Grand Jury report). This section will continue to play an important role in protecting Pennsylvanians in the coming months and years.
Responding to the Pandemic
In the initial panic during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office received more than 21,500 complaints related to COVID-19, many of which were specifically regarding concerns over price gouging for in demand items - such as cleaning supplies, paper products, and medical equipment. The AG’s Office partnered with federal law enforcement to combat fraud and created specific resources to help respond to price gouging.
As a result of the OAG’s ongoing efforts, the Office has returned $45,000 in restitution to consumers as a result of alleged price gouging.