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Trump's Health and Human Services Nominee Has Background in Big Pharma

15 November 2017

President Donald Trump announced the nomination of a former Eli Lilly executive as Health and Human Services Secretary Monday.

President Trump has selected Alex Azar to replace Tom Price as secretary of HHS. Price racked up roughly $1 million in private and government air travel in just seven months, according to Politico.

"His previous leadership experience at HHS and his work at Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly will be an effective combination as we work to solve our nation's most significant healthcare challenges", said Young in a statement.

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Azar's Senate confirmation could be hard, with the chamber's 48 Democrats unlikely to approve a candidate who supports dismantling the Affordable Care Act. "He promised the American people he would bring skyrocketing drug prices 'way, way, way, down.' But when given the chance to put his money where his mouth is, he brazenly nominated a former pharmaceutical executive to lead the agency charged with managing prescription drug costs". The complexity of pharmaceutical pricing has thwarted legislation to lower drug prices.

If confirmed, Azar will be tasked with rolling back drug prices, overseeing Medicare and Medicaid programs, and implementing the controversial Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Alex Azar is the latest Hoosier headed to Washington for a post in the federal health sector.

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Azar also drew praise from PhRMA, the largest pharmaceutical industry trade group and America's Health Insurance Plans, the key lobbyist for the insurer industry. He served as the HHS deputy secretary under President George W. Bush.

Azar's nomination must be approved by the US Senate, which is controlled by Trump's fellow Republicans.

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Trump's Health and Human Services Nominee Has Background in Big Pharma