President Donald Trump announced the nomination of Alex Azar for Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Mr. Azar, who spent most of the last 10 years with pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, served as the Deputy Health and Human Services Secretary under Tom Price.
“Happy to announce, I am nominating Alex Azar to be the next HHS Secretary,” President Trump tweeted. “He will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!”
Happy to announce, I am nominating Alex Azar to be the next HHS Secretary. He will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2017
Azar, 50, is a lawyer and served as president of Eli Lilly’s U.S. affiliate before leaving in January to start his own consulting firm. He’s widely viewed as an expert on government health care regulation. President Trump has been a sharp critic of his industry and has made fighting the cost of prescription drugs a key administration goal.
“The drug companies, frankly, are getting away with murder,” President Trump at a Cabinet meeting this fall. Prices are “out of control” and “have gone through the roof.”
The nominee got his bachelor’s degree in government and economics from Dartmouth and once clerked for the late great conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. During the Clinton Administration, he served with independent counsel Kenneth Starr.
If confirmed, Azar would be Trump’s second HHS secretary after Mr. Price resigned amid criticism of his travel on charter flights that angered President Trump.
The White House is conducting a broad review of the policy and Secretary Price before he resigned opened two reviews, including an investigation by the inspector general. The House Oversight and Government Reform committee has launched a broad investigation of top political appointees.