Dispute leads to search of Omaha pharmacy firm's offices

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Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2013 12:00 am

A federal agency that investigates Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse executed a search warrant Wednesday at the Omaha headquarters of National Pharmaceutical Services.

It was the first day in a multi-day operation involving state and federal agencies, headed by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a spokesman said.

The chairman of the board of directors of parent company Pharmaceutical Technologies Inc. said the warrant served at 14301 FNB Parkway resulted from a business dispute with a client in Texas, which he did not name.

“We don't know what they claim to be looking for,” said Dr. Bill Fleming, a retired surgeon. “I would be astonished if it turned up anything that they would find useful.”

Fleming said he could not discuss the dispute. The HHS spokesman said he could not share details of the investigation. A spokeswoman for the FBI in Nebraska, which participated in Wednesday's action, referred The World-Herald to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Texas, which declined to comment.

“This morning, about 30 people just descended on the place like a plague of locusts,” Fleming said. “It's a terrible waste of taxpayer dollars.”

National Pharmaceutical Services employs 175 people, most of them in Omaha, Fleming said. He said the business is still open to serve clients. The HHS said it did not ask the business to close during the investigation.

Pharmaceutical Technologies is a pharmacy benefits manager founded in 1992 by its chief executive officer, Doug Pick, and board members Michael Makoid, then a professor of pharmacy at the Creighton University School of Medicine, and pharmacy owner Dan Billerbeck. A message left at Pick's home was not immediately returned Wednesday.

The business includes a mail-order pharmacy, a prescription drug discount card and pharmacy benefits management services.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1336, barbara.soderlin@owh.com

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