News: Public Health

New HHS Secretary - Alex Azar

Friday, January 5, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jamie Michael
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New HHS Secretary
In November, pharmaceutical executive Alex Azar was nominated to replace Tom Price as the Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Azar had a hearing in December before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee; however, his nomination must still be confirmed by the Senate Finance Committee. A hearing is expected the week of January 15 and he is likely to be confirmed shortly thereafter by the entire Senate.

Azar will be tasked with the President's initiative to lower prescription drug prices, though his record as a pharmaceutical executive will likely come under scrutiny because Eli Lily & Co. raised the price of life-saving drugs such as insulin under his tenure. Azar was most recently a pharmaceutical industry executive for Eli Lily & Co. and has past experience as the deputy Secretary of HHS under President George W. Bush. Given his familiarity with HHS, his transition is expected to go more smoothly.

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