Trump Chooses Alex Azar for Health and Human Services Secretary

14 November, 2017, 00:47 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

President Donald Trump is nominating former pharmaceutical and government executive Alex Azar to be his second secretary of health and human services.

Shortly after, he joined the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly as a senior vice president of corporate affairs and communications and eventually became president of Lilly USA, according to his LinkedIn.

Happy to announce, I am nominating Alex Azar to be the next HHS Secretary.

It's unclear what thoughts, if any, Azar has on tobacco.

Azar served two more years with the department as deputy secretary.

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"He will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!", Trump exclaimed. He's seen as an expert on government health care regulation.

Trump has a track record of making industry-friendly nominations, such as tapping former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state and wealthy investor Wilbur Ross as secretary of commerce.

Trump has been a sharp critic of the industry. The drugmaker has drawn criticism from patient advocacy groups for price increases to one of its biggest products: insulin. In an October letter to Trump, Sens. In meetings with industry executives, however, Trump has focused on speeding up drug approvals, a cost-reducing tactic they would back.

Azar served as Health and Human Services general counsel and deputy secretary during George W. Bush's administration.

Azar would fill the slot vacated by former Georgia Senator Tom Price, who resigned in September amid widespread public outcry over his use of taxpayer-funded private flights during his time with the White House.

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