Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
World | By Melba Underwood

Trump chooses drug executive as health secretary

Trump chooses drug executive as health secretary

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

President Donald Trump on Monday nominated former pharmaceutical executive Alex Azar to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a vacancy left by ousted chief Tom Price.

Azar, 50, served as deputy secretary in the Department of Health and Human Services from 2005 to 2007, under George W. Bush.

Azar, 50, a lawyer by training, has spent most of the last 10 years with pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, rising to president of its key US affiliate before leaving in January to start his own consulting firm.

Mr. Trump made his announcement in a Twitter post while traveling in Asia.

The new HHS secretary will be tasked with implementing Trump administration efforts to unwind Obamacare, a top campaign promise of his, and overseeing the drug industry, which Trump has said is "getting away with murder" by charging high prices for prescription medications.

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Azar would fill the slot vacated by former Georgia Senator Tom Price, who resigned in September amid widespread public outcry over his use of taxpayer-funded private flights during his time with the White House.

'Happy to announce, I am nominating Alex Azar to be the next Secretary, ' Trump tweeted Monday from the Philippines.

"The Trump administration's track record on health care to date is objectively abysmal", said Sen.

Azar's nominations to HHS in the Bush era sailed through the Senate.

Azar's Senate confirmation could be hard, with the chamber's 48 Democrats unlikely to approve a candidate who supports dismantling the Affordable Care Act.

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