Trump picks former drug executive Alex Azar as new health secretary

Trump picks former drug executive Alex Azar as new health secretary
What people are saying about Trump's pick of former Lilly exec Alex Azar to lead HHS
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Trump’s first health secretary — former US Representative Tom Price — resigned in September amid a public furore over his use of expensive taxpayer-funded private charter jets for government travel.Aznar served in the George W. Bush White House on the domestic policy council and at HHS is a a former president of drug giant Eli Lilly.

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Trump goes a different direction in his choice of Health and Human Services secretary

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A Pick for Lower Drug Prices?

Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the Republican who heads the Senate’s health committee, said Azar had “the qualifications and experience to get results” and said the committee would “promptly” set a date for hearings.Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersWorld leaders reach agreement on trade deal without United States: report Sanders on Brazile revelations: DNC needs ‘far more transparency’ Sen. Warren sold out the DNC MORE (I-Vt.) said Monday that he would oppose President Trump’s nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services, denouncing his ties to the pharmaceutical industry.While Azar has been a critic of the Affordable Care Act and a proponent of repeal, he doesn't seem as zealous about it as former HHS Secretary Tom Price. Azar told Bloomberg TV in June that the ACA gives HHS a lot of latitude to "make it work a little better." In contrast, when Price had opportunities to make the law function better, he didn't always take them. Some of the agency's more-obvious acts of sabotage — including sluggish responses to state requests for greater flexibility — may change. 

1:55 a.m.: The article was updated with reaction to the nomination.said, “the states are the laboratory for experimentation.” Let’s consider “experimentation” already occurring in a system in which the federal government matches state spending.Insurers and for-profit hospitals also reacted positively, while the Public Citizen advocacy group likened Azar’s nomination to a “coup d’etat” by drug companies.

ADVERTISEMENT Sanders said the nomination shows Trump is not living up to his attacks on the pharmaceutical industry and stated desire to bring down prices.The former presidential candidate said the nomination shows Trump was “never serious about his promise to stop the pharmaceutical industry from ‘getting away with murder.’”
WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Monday said he is nominating former pharmaceutical executive and industry lobbyist Alex Azar to serve as US Health and Human Services secretary, saying Azar would push to lower the price of medicines.

Trump taps ex-pharma executive Azar as US health secretary

As Common Dreams has reported, Sanders and several top congressional Democrats introduced legislation in October with the goal of pressuring Trump to act on his criticism of the drug industry by allowing the government to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs.
Professionally, Azar has another set of skills that may be valuable to the president. In his previous service at HHS, the Yale law graduate developed an insider’s familiarity with the complex world of federal health-care regulation, serving first as the department’s chief lawyer and later as deputy secretary.

Trump picks former drug company exec who once probed Whitewater to replace high-flying Tom Price at HHS – and …

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Trump goes a different direction in his choice of Health and Human Services secretary
Trump goes a different direction in his choice of Health and Human Services secretary

essentially flat. Kueterman said the final net price for Humalog has declined since 2009.Newest Oldest Best rated Worst rated DM.later(‘bundle’, function (){ Ext.each(Ext.get(‘rc-tabs’).select(‘li.dm-tab’).elements, function(el){ Ext.get(el).on(‘click’, function(e){ window.RCdefferedTab = e; e.preventDefault(); }); }); });   View all The comments below have not been moderated.

John FritzeContact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun President Donald Trump said Monday he intends to nominate a former pharmaceutical executive and Maryland resident as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Former Eli Lilly Executive Is Trump's Choice for Health Secretary
Former Eli Lilly Executive Is Trump's Choice for Health Secretary

Analysis Interpretation of the news based on evidence, including data, as well as anticipating how events might unfold based on past events

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Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee and the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said Mr. Azar had “the qualifications and experience to get results” and promised to promptly schedule a hearing on his nomination.Max Nisen is a Bloomberg Gadfly columnist covering biotech, pharma and health care. He previously wrote about management and corporate strategy for Quartz and Business Insider.Common DreamsP.O. Box 443Portland, ME 04112-0443USA

Alex Azar Is a Friend to Health-Care Companies

But Mr Trump also has been a scathing critic of the drug companies, both as a candidate and as President. 

said of the ACA that “one of the nice things in it is it does give tremendous amount of authority to the secretary of HHS.”

Trump names former Eastern Shore resident as next Health and Human Services secretary

The nomination of Mr Azar is unusual because Health and Human Services (HHS) secretaries have come from the ranks of elected officials such as governors, leaders in academia and medicine, or top executive branch managers – not industries regulated by the department. Azar, an outspoken critic of Obamacare, would take over the massive department at a time when the Trump administration is considering using its regulatory power to unwind portions of the Affordable Care Act after Republicans in Congress have been unable to repeal the law.

Donald Trump Has Nominated 480 People So Far in His Presidency. 80% of Them Are Men.

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

Trump Taps Alex Azar, Former Drug Company Executive, for Health and Services Secretary

Alex Azar is an experienced and highly capable leader who knows what it takes to tackle big challenges in health care. The Senate should swiftly confirm him as our next @HHSGov secretary.

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Trump Health Secretary Nominee Left Job Overseeing Eli Lilly Investigation to Become Eli Lilly's Top Lobbyist

But Robert Weissman, head of Public Citizen, said the revolving door is showing no signs of slowing down under the current administration. He said Public Citizen found that 70 percent of President Trump’s early appointees for top positions came from the corporate world,  a percentage Weissman said is much higher than average. “Under the Trump administration it’s a pure open door because we’re seeing hoards of industry insiders going into government regulatory positions,” he said.
Azar’s nomination must be approved by the US Senate, which is controlled by Trump’s fellow Republicans.
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Alex Azar II, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary speaks at a state of Michigan pandemic influenza summit in Detroit, April 25, 2006. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)(Photo: PAUL SANCYA, AP)Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar Washington DC Tuesday 14 November 2017 00:29 GMT Click to followThe Independent US Alex Azar Reuters President Donald Trump has picked a former top pharmaceutical and government executive to be his health secretary. 
What people are saying about Trump's pick of former Lilly exec Alex Azar to lead HHS
What people are saying about Trump's pick of former Lilly exec Alex Azar to lead HHS

Trump’s pick to lead the Food and Drug Administration, Scott Gottlieb, also faced scrutiny for receiving consulting payments from drugmakers and medical device companies while in the private sector. Once in office, Gottlieb pushed efforts to lower drug prices by reworking FDA drug reviews to increase competition.Continue reading the main story Mr. Trump said that Mr. Azar “will be a star for better health care and lower drug prices!” But the choice immediately raised new doubts among some lawmakers and industry observers about the president’s stated commitment to rein in drug companies.

Alex Azar unveiled as Trump's pick for health secretary

Eric Hargan, who was confirmed as deputy Health and Human Services secretary in October, has been the acting secretary as the Trump administration sought Price’s replacement.

Trump nominates former pharma executive to lead HHS and “lower drug prices”

Deputy Secretary of the HHS for George W. Bush, and oversaw programs and operations like Medicaid, Medicare, public health, and the regulation of food and drugs. After leaving his position in government, Azar transitioned to the pharmaceutical industry, heading a company called Eli Lilly. During his time at Lilly, the company was continuously accused of raising drug prices. In March 2017, a class action lawsuit was filed against Eli Lilli and two other pharmaceutical companies — Novo Nordisk and Sanofi — for bumping up the price of insulin, according to CNN.
Trump’s FDA pick faces questioning on ties to industry he’d regulate

Trump picks former Eli Lilly exec Alex Azar to head HHS

The inside track on Washington politics.

The White House just nominated Alex Azar as top health official, replacing Tom Price after his private plane scandal

Trump’s party has a majority in both chambers.expressed his qualms with it. During an interview with Bloomberg TV in June, he said,

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.: “This confirmation process will be a referendum on the Trump administration’s repeated efforts to sabotage our health care system and raise premiums on millions of Americans.”

Lilly again raised prices on two of its insulin products, Humalog and Humulin, by nearly 8 percent in May. The company has previously noted that many patients do not pay the list price for insulin because they benefit from rebates negotiated with insurers, and it offers discounts of about 45 percent off the list price for people without insurance.Marketplace, working from the Washington, D.C. Bureau. Nancy started with Marketplace in spring 2007, after filing freelance pieces for the program for years prior. Covering the daily news from the nation’s capital, Nancy has…President Donald Trump has selected drug industry executive Alex Azar to replace former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who resigned amid a government jet scandal.Other Senate Democrats have so far taken a more restrained approach. Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump is right: The visa lotto has got to go Schumer predicts bipartisan support for passing DACA fix this year No room for amnesty in our government spending bill MORE (N.Y.), for example, did not take a position on Azar in a statement and said he wants to review the nomination.

Trump to nominate former pharmaceutical executive Alex Azar as Health and Human Services secretary

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Trump's Health and Human Services nominee comes straight from the swamp

This is a time of unprecedented uncertainty for HHS programs. Congress failed to reauthorize CHIP by Oct. 1, allowing the program to lapse with states now running out of funds. House Republicans passed a reauthorization this month, but did so, in large part, by robbing a preventive care fund — that approach may not fly in the Senate. Access to health care for 9 million kids hangs in the balance. President Trump wants to make the corporate tax rates immediate and permanent. (Nov. 9, 2017)

If confirmed, Alex Azar would oversee a $1 trillion department responsible for major health insurance programs, including “Obamacare,” as well as medical research, food and drug safety, and public health.
Jumpy Rhetorical and political volatility from the Trump administration has made for a very jumpy year for biopharma and ACA-exposed insurer stocks Source: Bloomberg Azar is already in the upper echelon of Trump appointees in terms of experience; he spent most of the Bush administration as general counsel and then Deputy Secretary of HHS. That bodes well for the general function of the agency. 

The Washington Post described it as a “pragmatic choice,” “a figure of a conservative status and methodical lawyer.” He is a keen critic of Obama’s Health Reform. Between 2001 and 2007, he was the first counselor in the ministry, and then a deputy minister before joining Eli Lilly.

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