Allegations of prescription drug diversions force the owners of three area pharmacies to surrender their authority to sell them.

Reiter's Family Pharmacy in Monmouth's Ocean Township, and the Medford Family Pharmacy and Olde Medford Pharmacy, now bear signs advising customers that their licenses have been revoked. Mark Forgang, owner of Reiter's, and Michael Ludwiskowski, owner of the Medford shops, gave up their licenses voluntarily.

Information from acting state Attorney General John J. Hoffman and Consumer Affairs Director Eric T. Kanefsky says that the action resulted from "alleged failures to comply with New Jersey's requirements pertaining to controlled substances, which were uncovered during inspections performed by the [Consumer Affairs] Enforcement Bureau."

The shops are banned from ordering, creating, storing or distributing any medicines classified as controlled dangerous substances (CDS).

"Prescription drug diversion fuels addiction, contributes to the demand for heroin, and ruins lives across America," Hoffman said in a prepared release. "We are using every investigative and enforcement tool available to win this fight."

New Jersey's Board of Pharmacy issues licenses to drug stores in the Garden State, but all need registration with Consumer Affairs.

According to Hoffman's office, they can reapply, but they'd need to offer proof that they can comply with CDS requirements and pass a rigid inspection that's given to new shops.

Investigators relied on the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program (NJPMP) for evidence. The program tracks all meds sold by prescription in the state and gives authorities an avenue to detect diversions off the counter.

Information on the statewide push to stop prescription drug abuse can be found at the the NJPMP and Project Medicine Drop portals on the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs web page. The office also maintains a Facebook page.