Ex-Eli Lilly executive Azar wins Trump's nomination for top HHS post

Former Eli Lilly exec Alex Azar previously served as HHS deputy secretary under President George W. Bush. Credit: YouTube

Former Eli Lilly exec Alex Azar previously served as HHS deputy secretary under President George W. Bush. Credit YouTube

Even President Trump says so. He was also HHS general counsel in former President George W. Bush's administration from 2001 to 2005.

Azar previously served as a high-ranking executive at Eli Lilly, which has repeatedly raised the prices of its drugs, doubling the US list price of its top-selling insulin over the 5 years he served as a company president. If Alex Azar's nomination is confirmed, then Big Pharma's coup d'etat in the health care sphere will be virtually complete. He also pointed to Eli Lilly raising drug prices by double digits while Azar was an executive at the company. After leaving Lilly as part of an executive shakeup earlier this year, Azar formed a consultancy as he explored "new leadership opportunities", according to an online speaker profile.

Trump, who is in the Philippines on a diplomatic trip, announced his intention to nominate Azar on Twitter by saying he would "be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices".

Reacting to Azar's selection, Senate Finance Committee ranking member Sen.

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Azar's nomination is sure to encounter more pushback.

If confirmed by the Senate, Azar would replace Tom Price, who resigned as secretary under pressure on September 29 after a series of stories in Politico documented his repeated use of private jets and government aircraft instead of commercial planes, at a cost of more than $400,000.

"During Mr. Azar's tenure at Eli Lilly, this multi-billion-dollar corporation dodged taxes while charging Americans outrageously high prices for life-saving prescription drugs".

Azar has argued against drug price controls in the past, Weissman said at the time, making it "highly unlikely" he would "advance real reform" on the issue.

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