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Who Is The Former Pharma Exec Trump Nominated To Lead HHS?

Who Is The Former Pharma Exec Trump Nominated To Lead HHS?

President Donald Trump has nominated Alex Azar, a former pharmaceutical executive, to run the Department of Health and Human Services.

What You Need To Know

The Department of Health and Human Services is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government with a mission of protecting the health of Americans. 

Trump's nomination of Azaro has been met with some scrutiny. Azar is a former president at Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE: LLY), a company that has drastically increased the price of several of its therapies,

"He's precise, highly motivated, he has high standards for performance for himself and for other people," NPR quoted former HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt as saying. "He had full responsibility as deputy secretary for the regulatory processes at HHS."

Why It's Important

Azar's experience in the public and private sector could fit in with the Trump's administration's plans to make the Affordable Care Act more "friendly" to Republican ideals, Leavitt said. Azar appears to prefer moving authority to the states over Medicaid.

Azar's position on drug prices is unclear, unlike Trump. The president has said that drug companies are "getting away with murder" and has called for the Medicare program to use its large size to better negotiate drug prices.

What's Next?

"Mr. Azar is well-qualified and has the chance to stand up for patients because he knows exactly how our drug pricing system is broken," NPR quoted Ben Wakana, executive director of the advocacy group Patients For Affordable Drugs, as saying. "If he wants to take meaningful action to lower drug prices, we want to help him."

Related Links:

Adam Feuerstein Talks Vulnerable Pharmaceuticals, Drug Pricing Under Trump

What Pharmaceuticals Spend On Lobbying To Influence Trump

Posted-In: Alex Azar Donald Trump drug prices Drug PricingHealth Care Politics Media General Best of Benzinga


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