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etvfutures.com November 19, 2017


Trump picks former pharma exec, ex-Bush official to lead HHS department

13 November 2017, 06:52 | Opal Carroll

Trump Chooses Alex Azar for Health and Human Services Secretary

Alex Azar former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

US President Donald Trump has nominated a former pharmaceutical executive to serve as his next health secretary.

While at Lilly, Azar served on the board of directors for BIO, a drug lobby, according to Politico.

'Happy to announce, I am nominating Alex Azar to be the next Secretary, ' Trump tweeted Monday from the Philippines.

President Donald Trump has picked a pharma insider to oversee the HHS.

When he's pretending to be a populist, Trump has treated the pharmaceutical industry with public disdain. Still, drug pricing talk hasn't gotten serious in Congress and four Congressmen wrote to the president last month to say his "inaction" on their Medicare negotiation proposal has left them with no option other than to press ahead alone.

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"He will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!", Trump exclaimed. Almost a month ago, reports surfaced that Azar was the frontrunner for the job; he's a fierce opponent of the Affordable Care Act; and he's a doctrinaire partisan on the Republican Party's regressive health care agenda, especially on issues such as gutting Medicaid through block grants.

Reacting to Azar's selection, Senate Finance Committee ranking member Sen.

The Trump administration's previous HHS secretary, Dr. Tom Price, resigned on September 29 after reports emerged he had traveled on chartered planes-for work and personal time-at the cost of at least $400,000 to taxpayers.

To be sure, Azar's nomination doesn't come as too big of a surprise.

Azar has argued against drug price controls in the past, Weissman said at the time, making it "highly unlikely" he would "advance real reform" on the issue.



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