Sanders statement on HHS secretary nominee

Henrietta Brewer
November 15, 2017

Mr. Azar spent nearly 10 years at Eli Lilly, including five as president, before leaving in January.

Just days after news that Trump was set to select ex-Eli Lilly executive Alex Azar for the USA government's top healthcare post, he tweeted the nomination Monday morning.

Azar's nomination for HHS Secretary follows the ascendance of Seema Verma, who now leads the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, and former State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, who became Surgeon General this summer.

In contrast to Mr. Price, an orthopedic surgeon and former Republican congressman, Mr. Azar is a lawyer and health care expert who allies predicted would use his deep knowledge of the federal bureaucracy to advance Mr. Trump's agenda of undermining President Barack Obama's health care law.

Trump tweeted on Monday: "He will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices".

"This is a slap in the face to millions of Americans who are waiting on (the President) to take action to lower drug prices", Cummings wrote on Twitter.

In February, Azar founded a consulting agency that specialized in biopharmaceutical and healthcare companies, his LinkedIn page said.

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.

"In his public statements, Alex Azar has made clear that he is opposed to measures to restrain prescription companies' profiteering and limit improper marketing, while favoring weaker safety approval standards". He served as the HHS deputy secretary under President George W. Bush.

Trump picked Azar for the HHS chief position above other candidates such as Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services director Seema Verma and FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, according to press reports on the selection process.

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