HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today joined Governor Tom Wolf at the Capitol Building to announce the launch of a new online tool to report suspicious activity regarding prescription drugs. The suspicious activity report form is fully integrated into the Commonwealth’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Tool (PDMP) and can also be accessed by anyone at www.attorneygeneral.gov/Rx.
“The illegal diversion of prescription pain pills from doctors’ offices and pharmacies is contributing to the opioid epidemic across the Commonwealth, but diversion activity is hard to identify and even harder to investigate” said Attorney General Shapiro. “This new reporting tool, which is available online to everyone, allows people to anonymously give our office detailed information about suspected diversion so we are better able to arrest and prosecute the criminals who are poisoning our communities for their own profit.”
Attorney General Shapiro was joined by Governor Tom Wolf and Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine to make the announcement. The PA Department of Health will begin notifying PDMP users, like doctors and pharmacists, about the tool with encouragement to use it if they believe they have information on possible diversion activity. Medical professionals are the most likely to identify suspicious prescription drug activity, but any Pennsylvanian can access and use the reporting tool.
“I’m proud that more than 90,000 PDMP users are conducting more than 1.6 million searches each month to ensure controlled substances such as opioids are being responsibility prescribed and dispensed,” Gov. Wolf said. “Now PDMP users will have another way to help reduce the misuse of prescription drugs. It’s a new tool in our toolkit for fighting the opioid epidemic.”
During Attorney General Shapiro’s first year in office, the Office of Attorney General (OAG) increased diversion arrests 72% over the previous year. In November 2018, Shapiro announced charges against four people who illegally diverted more than 17,000 pills through 264 fake prescriptions in Butler, Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.
OAG is also focused on prevention efforts to combat the opioid crisis including: working with local law enforcement agencies on a treatment outreach initiative so police can help get addicts into treatment rather than arrest them; running a prescription drug take-back program which has destroyed 47 tons of pills in 2018 alone; community engagement efforts to educate the public about the dangers of opioids and addiction; and leading an ongoing 41-state investigation into the tactics and operations of opioid manufacturers and distributors.
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