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Former Pharmaceutical Company Executive Picked to Run HHS

14 November 2017

More recently, Azar served in many roles with Eli Lilly and Company, an global 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.

Azar has worked at HHS before: From 2005-07, he was a deputy secretary in the department, and from 2001-05, he was general counsel. For those opposed to the path Trump has been taking Health and Human Services, Alex Azar symbolizes yet another attack on the progress made by the Affordable Care Act with his policy preferences aimed at undercutting and reversing numerous ACA's provisions. The complexity of pharmaceutical pricing has thwarted legislation to lower drug prices. In 2012, he became the president of the company's affiliate for North America, Lilly USA.

Azar is an attorney and a pharmaceutical industry veteran.

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

The HHS is responsible for advising the President on matters of health, welfare, and income security programmes.

"We know from that work he understands the need to move away from the perverse incentives in the Medicare fee-for-service payment system and to do so in a fashion that incents high-quality care", said Susan DeVore, CEO of Premier.

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Cummings and Senator Bernie Sanders, a 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, past year called for a federal probe into whether Eli Lilly, Sanofi SA, Merck & Co Inc and Novo Nordisk A/S colluded to set prices on insulin and other diabetes drugs. Kahn called Azar "the flawless pick for the times". "I don't think it's possible to reform the system unless you truly understand this very complicated system we've created", says Adam Fein, president of Pembroke Consulting.

Although the Patients for Affordable Drugs said it was concerned that the former drug company executive may not take action on skyrocketing drug prices, Ben Wakana, executive director, said in a statement that Azar is well-qualified for the position.

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Former Pharmaceutical Company Executive Picked to Run HHS