Alex Azar Nominated as HHS Secretary

Pauline Gross
November 14, 2017

Azar's nomination comes a little more than a month after the resignation of HHS Secretary Tom Price.

On Nov. 13, President Trump nominated Alex Azar as secretary of Health and Human Services, a role that was vacated after Tom Price resigned in late September after it was reported that he spent $1 million of taxpayers' dollars on private air travel while on the job.

Azar, who now works for a consulting firm, worked as the HHS general counsel from 2001 to 2005 in the George W. Bush administration.

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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If confirmed, Azar will oversee large parts of the federal government's healthcare, including the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which has begun regulating cigars. He's seen as an expert on government health care regulation. In an October letter to Trump, Sens.

In making the pick, Trump turned to an industry's he's rebuked.

Azar's nominations to HHS in the Bush era sailed through the Senate. "I am. interested in how, given Mr. Azar's professional background, he believes he can fairly execute any significant effort to lower drug prices for patients", she said in a statement. "The drug companies, frankly, are getting away with murder", the president said at a Cabinet meeting this fall. Prices are "out of control" and "have gone through the roof", Trump said. In meetings with industry executives, however, Trump has focused on speeding up drug approvals, a cost-reducing tactic they would back.

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