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Alex Azar unveiled as Trump's pick for health secretary

13 November 2017

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

"Happy to announce, I am nominating Alex Azar to be the next HHS Secretary", Trump wrote on Twitter. 'He will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!'

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Price resigned in September in the midst of a scandal over his use of private planes during his time as secretary. According to Politico, he worked closely there with Eric Hargan, who has been acting HHS secretary since Price left.

Azar II, served as a deputy at the department under former President George W. Bush.

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If confirmed by the Senate, Azar will oversee a $1-trillion department responsible for major health insurance programs, medical research, food and drug safety, and public health.

Azar has served on the board of directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a drug industry lobby, for several years, and his nomination would raise questions about the administration's seriousness about lowering drug prices. He could also be useful in the Trump administration's efforts to roll back expensive prescription drug pricing.

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The former pharmaceutical executive is in favor of a number of Republican-backed health care initiatives, like repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Alex Azar unveiled as Trump's pick for health secretary