U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said he has chosen former pharmaceutical company executive Alex Azar to serve as U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary and vowed to lower the price of medicines. Even President Trump says so.
Trump picked Azar for the HHS chief position above other candidates such as Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services director Seema Verma and FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, according to press reports on the selection process.
Azar's nomination comes after Trump's initial health secretary, former U.S. Representative Tom Price, resigned in September amid criticism over his use of expensive taxpayer-funded private charter jets for government travel instead of cheaper commercial flights. But so far, critics contend the Trump Administration's actions and proposals have only favored the industry.
"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". Ron Wyden said the president "at every turn. has broken his promises to American families to lower health care costs, expand access and bring down the high price of prescription drugs." Sen. Former George W Bush appointee and industry insider Alex Azar is the most recent swamp creature to emerge from the MAGA train.
In February, Azar founded a consulting agency that specialized in biopharmaceutical and healthcare companies, his LinkedIn page said.
Azar's nomination for HHS Secretary follows the ascendance of Seema Verma, who now leads the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, and former State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, who became Surgeon General this summer. But it is highly unlikely that a pharmaceutical company executive who has made passionate arguments against price restraints is going to advance real reform.