Trump picks pharmaceutical exec as new US health secretary

November 13, 2017

US President Donald Trump, who harshly criticized pharmaceutical firms during his campaign, said Monday he has chosen an executive from the industry to be his new secretary of health.

"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!" Trump said in a tweet.

Azar worked for a decade at Eli Lilly and Company and most recently headed the pharmaceutical giant's US operations.

He left in January 2017 and formed strategic consulting firm Seraphim Strategies, according to Azar's LinkedIn profile.

Azar also has high-level experience in the department he is being asked to head. He served as deputy of the Department of Health and Human Services from 2005 to 2007 during the George W. Bush administration, and as its general counsel for the four years prior.

The nomination comes six weeks after Tom Price resigned as amid a scandal over his taxpayer-funded travel.

That departure left a hole in the Trump administration as it grappled with addressing a deadly opioid epidemic, and as Trump's Republicans failed to repeal and replace former president Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

During the 2016 campaign, Trump routinely assailed big pharma companies. In January, shortly before his inauguration, the then-president-elect said companies in the drug industry were "getting away with murder" and that bidding procedures were inadequate.

Explore further: First lady listens and learns about opioid crisis (Update)

Related Stories

First lady listens and learns about opioid crisis (Update)

September 28, 2017
Melania Trump is listening and learning about the nation's opioid epidemic.

Trump doesn't rule out 'amended' Obamacare: WSJ

November 11, 2016
US President-elect Donald Trump has said he will consider an "amended" version of Barack Obama's signature health care law—a sign of a shift in position after repeatedly vowing on the campaign trail that he would repeal ...

Trump rolls back Obamacare provision for free birth control

October 7, 2017
US President Donald Trump's administration annulled on Friday an Obamacare provision that obliged employer health plans to pay for contraception, potentially stripping free birth control from millions of women.

US senators reach bipartisan deal on Obamacare

October 18, 2017
US senators announced Tuesday they had reached a bipartisan deal to continue a program that helps low-income Americans purchase health insurance, days after President Donald Trump cut such subsidies.

Obamacare critic confirmed as US health secretary

February 10, 2017
The US Senate narrowly confirmed Tom Price as President Donald Trump's pick for health secretary Friday, appointing a fierce Obamacare critic who aims to implement a Republican promise to tear up the divisive health care ...

Recommended for you

Accurate measurements of sodium intake confirm relationship with mortality

June 21, 2018
Eating foods high in salt is known to contribute to high blood pressure, but does that linear relationship extend to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death? Recent cohort studies have contested that relationship, ...

Fans of yoga therapy have yet to win over doctors

June 21, 2018
Yoga practitioners often tout the unique health benefits of the ancient discipline—from relieving stress and pain to improving vascular health—but most doctors remain sceptical in the absence of hard proof.

Fruit and vegetables linked to changes in skin colour, new research finds

June 21, 2018
Skin colour in young Caucasian men is strongly linked to high levels of fruit and vegetable consumption, new research by Curtin University has found.

What a pain: The iPad neck plagues women more

June 20, 2018
Is your iPad being a literal pain in the neck?

Medicaid work requirements and health savings accounts may impact people's coverage

June 20, 2018
Current experimental approaches in Medicaid programs—including requirements to pay premiums, contribute to health savings accounts, or to work—may lead to unintended consequences for patient coverage and access, such ...

Introduction of alcohol found to adversely impact fertility rates in hunter-gatherer community

June 19, 2018
Fernando Ramirez Rozzi, a research director with the French National Centre for Scientific Research has found that the introduction of alcohol to a Baka pygmy hunter-gatherer society caused fertility rates to fall. In his ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.