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etvfutures.com November 22, 2017


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

15 November 2017, 09:53 | Lena Norman

Trump Chooses Alex Azar for Health and Human Services Secretary

Alex Azar

Even President Trump says so.

President of Public Citizen, Weissman said today: "Just weeks after denouncing "out-of-control" prescription prices, President Donald Trump shows he doesn't mean it by nominating a former pharmaceutical company executive to run the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services". He was also HHS general counsel in former President George W. Bush's administration from 2001 to 2005. He also pointed to Eli Lilly raising drug prices by double digits while Azar was an executive at the company.

"He will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!" the president tweeted. Earlier this year, he founded a biopharmaceutical and health care consulting business.

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

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But Azar's pharmaceutical industry background prompted immediate questions about potential conflicts of interest and criticism from Democrats, who expressed concern about how he will handle Obamacare and whether he will be tough on drug makers. Wyden said he'll ask Azar to take "take decisive, meaningful action to curtail the runaway train of prescription drug costs".

Interestingly, a day after the previous HHS Secretary, Tom Price, resigned, Alex Azar exercised an insider option to purchase shares in HMS Holdings, bringing his publicly known total of shares in the company to over 17,000 with a current market value over $255,000 in a company with a market cap of over $1.3 billion.

Like more than half of Trump's nominees, Azar has professional ties to the industry that he will be expected to regulate.

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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