Sanders statement on HHS secretary nominee

Deputy Secretary Alex M. Azar and Ireland's former Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney

The Trump administration revealed the next Secretary of Health and Human Services, to replace ousted Secretary Tom Price.

President Donald Trump has nominated Alex Azar, a former pharmaceutical executive, to run the Department of Health and Human Services.

"I am also interested in how, given Mr. Azar's professional background, he believes he can fairly execute any significant effort to lower drug prices for patients", Sen.

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Azar previously served as president of Lilly USA, an affiliate of biopharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company, where he oversaw the US biomedicines business unit, the White House said Monday. The former Georgia congressman resigned September 29 over a scandal involving his use of private aircraft for government business.

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Azar also drew praise from PhRMA, the largest pharmaceutical industry trade group and America's Health Insurance Plans, the key lobbyist for the insurer industry. "He had full responsibility as deputy secretary for the regulatory processes at HHS". "The drug companies, frankly, are getting away with murder", the president said at a Cabinet meeting this fall. "I'm confident that he would like to see the way the law works change". "If he wants to take meaningful action to lower drug prices, we want to help him".

Congressional Democrats are likely to pounce on Azar's drug ties, reminding Trump of his promise to "drain the swamp" of Washington influence peddling.

"He has the chance to stand up for patients because he knows exactly how the drug pricing system is broken", said.Wakana, who previously served as the head of HHS communications under the Obama administration. For those opposed to the path Trump has been taking Health and Human Services, Alex Azar symbolizes yet another attack on the progress made by the Affordable Care Act with his policy preferences aimed at undercutting and reversing numerous ACA's provisions.

Azar represents an unusual choice for this position as it has been common practice for presidents to make a nomination from elected officials rather than industry.

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