TRENTON – The state has penalized four pharmacies for allegedly violating consumer protection laws in how they sold COVID-19 antigen tests.

The violations involved offering and selling COVID-19 test kits to the general public that were not authorized for at-home use and failing to plainly mark or affix the price to the merchandise.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin said the notices of violation issued by the Division of Consumer Affairs carry penalties ranging from $500 to $5,000 and a requirement that the pharmacies change their practices.

“While New Jersey residents have joined together in fighting COVID-19, unfortunately there are still some businesses seeking to profit unlawfully from the pandemic,” Platkin said. “Two years after the pandemic arrived in New Jersey, we still have zero tolerance for such conduct.”

The pharmacies cited are:

  • Valley Pharmacy in Succasunna, Morris County, owned by SLV Pharmacy Inc. It was cited for selling COVID-19 test kits to the general public that were not authorized for at-home use and not plainly marking their price.
  • Sayreville Pharmacy in Monroe Township, Middlesex County, which was cited for selling COVID-19 test kits that were not authorized for at-home use.
  • Iselin Pharmacy in Iselin, Middlesex County, owned by Sanraj Inc. It was cited for selling COVID-19 test kits not authorized for at-home use.
  • Wellcare Pharmacy, in Union City, Hudson County, owned by Khawajarx, Inc. It was penalized for selling test kits without the total selling price plainly marked or affixed.

The state says its Division of Consumer has sent 1,961 cease and desist letters to retailers suspected of price gouging and other unconscionable business practices during the coronavirus pandemic and issued over 100 subpoenas in connection with investigating alleged violations of the Consumer Fraud Act.

It says previous enforcement actions led to “tens of thousands of dollars” of civil penalties against a dozen merchants.

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In January, the state sent more than 50 warning letters to businesses whose prices for COVID-19 test kits generated consumer complaints.

Michael Symons is the Statehouse bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at michael.symons@townsquaremedia.com

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