Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

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

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

Azar was considered a front runner for the post, particularly after Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said publicly they were happy in their current roles.

President Donald Trump has nominated former pharma executive Alex Azar as secretary of Department of Health and Human Services.

Eric Hargan has served as acting HHS secretary since Price's September 29 resignation amid questions over his use of private planes.

Azar previously worked at the department as deputy secretary under President George W. Bush before joining the pharmaceutical industry.

Azar has prior experience at HHS, having served as its deputy secretary during the George W. Bush administration.


Until January, Azar was the president of Lilly USA, the Indianapolis-based maker of household-name prescription drugs like Prozac, Cialis and Methadone.

Azar is against the ACA's Medicaid expansion, which has provided coverage to millions of Americans and which Republicans tried and failed to replace multiple times this year.

HE'S THE CURE: President Donald Trump has selected drug industry executive Alex Azar to replace former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

Mr. Trump had indicated he might fire Price, and said he was "not happy" with the "optics" of the situation.

Azar's confirmation hearing should signal how an administration with a pharmaceutical background plans on managing drug prices, which has been top of mind lately.

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