|NEWARK – New Jersey Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman and Consumer Affairs Director Eric T. Kanefsky today announced the owners of three pharmacies agreed to the surrender of their ability to possess or sell Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS), due to the pharmacies’ alleged failure to comply with State requirements regarding the dispensing of those drugs.
The three pharmacies are Olde Medford Pharmacy and Medford Family Pharmacy, both owned by Michael Ludwiskowski, and Reiter’s Family Pharmacy, located in Ocean Township and owned by Mark Forgang. In separate actions last week, the owners of both pharmacies voluntarily surrendered the State-issued CDS registrations that authorized their pharmacies to handle and dispense controlled medications.
The surrenders resulted from alleged failures to comply with New Jersey’s requirements pertaining to controlled substances, which were uncovered during inspections performed by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs’ Enforcement Bureau.
All CDS medications have been removed from the three pharmacies. The three stores are now prohibited from possessing, ordering, manufacturing, or distributing any medication that is classified as a Controlled Dangerous Substance. Each store’s entrance now bears a notice to the public, indicating that the State has revoked the store’s ability to carry or sell controlled drugs.
“Prescription drug diversion fuels addiction, contributes to the demand for heroin, and ruins lives across America. We are using every investigative and enforcement tool available to win this fight,” Acting Attorney General Hoffman said. “A doctor’s or pharmacist’s ability to work with these drugs is not a right, but a privilege granted by the State. It is our duty to revoke that privilege when we find violations of New Jersey’s requirements for the responsible management of these drugs.”
Pharmacies in New Jersey are licensed by the State Board of Pharmacy. However, no licensed pharmacy may possess or distribute medications classified as Controlled Dangerous Substances, without a CDS registration issued by the State Consumer Affairs Director.
The actions announced today are considered revocations of each pharmacy’s CDS registration. If the owners should seek in the future to obtain a new CDS registration, they would need to apply to the Consumer Affairs Director, provide proof that the pharmacy is able to comply with State CDS requirements, and submit to a thorough inspection similar to that required for a new pharmacy.
Attorney General Hoffman noted that the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program (NJPMP), administered by the Division of Consumer Affairs, played an important role in the investigations. The NJPMP tracks the prescription sale of all CDS medications dispensed in New Jersey. It provides important information for investigations into pill diversion cases, and assists prescribers and pharmacists as a vital tool for patient care.
The Division of Consumer Affairs’ Enforcement Bureau conducted the State’s investigations into the three pharmacies, in partnership with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Medford Township Police Department, Ocean Township Police Department, and Wall Township Police Department. Deputy Attorney General David Puteska, of the Division of Law, is representing the State in these matters.
For more information on the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs' initiative to halt the diversion and abuse of prescription drugs, view the Division's NJPMP website at www.NJConsumerAffairs.gov/pmp, and the Division's Project Medicine Drop website at www.NJConsumerAffairs.gov/meddrop.
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