A Union City pharmacy was among four statewide accused of the improper sale of COVID-19 antigen tests, which are consumer protections violations, Acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“COVID testing, in addition to vaccination, has been essential to New Jersey’s recent return to normalcy,” Platkin said in a statement.
“While New Jersey residents have joined together in fighting COVID-19, unfortunately there are still some businesses seeking to profit unlawfully from the pandemic. Two years after the pandemic arrived in New Jersey, we still have zero tolerance for such conduct.”
The violations by the four pharmacies cited by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs involve offering and selling COVID-19 test kits to the general public that were not authorized for at-home use, as well as failing to plainly mark or affix the price of a COVID test to the merchandise.
In the case of Wellcare Phamaracy, located at 3406 Bergenline Ave., they have been issued a notice of violation that asks them to stop selling COVID-19 antigen tests without a price clearly marked and/or affixed to the product.
They have the option to pay a $500 penalty to settle the case, where a DCA investigator alleges that the store owner told him that the tests were available upon request and the price was $39.99, despite not having a price marked.
To date, the DCA has sent 1961 cease and desist letters to retailers suspected of price gouging and other unconscionable business practices during the coronavirus pandemic, and issued over 100 subpoenas seeking additional information in its investigations of alleged violations of the Consumer Fraud Act.
“The Division is committed to enforcing the laws in place to protect consumers from unprincipled merchants,” added Acting DCA Director Sean P. Neafsey.
“We will continue to review and investigate complaints to keep the marketplace fair and honest.”
The other businesses that were cited are Valley Pharmacy in Succasunna, Sayreville Pharmacy in Monroe Township, and Iselin Pharmacy in Iselin.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file an online complaint with the Division online or by calling 1-800-242-5846 to receive a complaint form by mail.