Friday, 17 November, 2017

Trump's Pick for HHS Secretary is Former Pharma Executive Alex Azar

Director of French research laboratory the Pasteur Institute Alice Dautry smiles next to then-US Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar II Trump just nominated this Lebanese-American to join his cabinet
Bennie Garza | 14 November, 2017, 20:13

It also oversees health insurance programmes, including Medicare and Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. He worked at Eli Lilly for 10 years, spending the latter half of his tenure as president of the company's US division, according to The New York Times, where he oversaw men's health, women's health, neuroscience, immunology, cardiology and the Alzheimer's sales teams. More recently, Azar served in many roles with Eli Lilly and Company, an worldwide pharmaceutical company, where as President of Lilly USA, he oversaw the substantial rise in drug prices while simultaneously serving on the board for the world's largest pharmaceutical lobby, Biotechnology Innovation Organization.

Dr. Azar's father immigrated to the USA from Lebanon about 100 years ago, now his grandson is serving in the nation's cabinet.

If the new HHS head is confirmed, he would take the seat of Tom Price, who had to step down in September in the midst of a scandal regarding his government-funded private charter flights for official and personal business.

At Eli Lilly, he served as senior vice president for the firm's global communications and government affairs unit. Trump wrote on Twitter. He would also help the Trump administration to dismantle Obamacare and crack down on drug prices.

Azar, though a spokesman, declined to comment. However, Democrats are skeptical he may not be able to lead federal initiatives to reduce drug prices and remain impartial, The New York Times reports.

Republicans were supportive with Senate health committee head Lamar Alexander of Tennessee describing Azar as a qualified, experienced nominee.

Azar served several years on the board of directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a drug industry lobbying group, and earlier was general counsel and deputy secretary for Health and Human Services under former Republican President George W. Bush.

"Happy to announce, I am nominating Alex Azar to be the next HHS Secretary", Trump tweeted on Monday, Xinhua reported.

Azar said about joining the company.

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