Trump just nominated this Lebanese-American to join his cabinet

Lester Mason
November 14, 2017

President Donald Trump on Monday said he is nominating former pharmaceutical executive and industry lobbyist Alex Azar to serve as US Health and Human Services secretary, saying Azar would push to lower the price of medicines.

If Senate confirms his nomination, Azar would replace Tom Price, the administration's first HHS chief, who resigned in September over revelations of his use of private, costly charter jets on government travels. Azar joined Lilly in 2007 as a senior vice president of global corporate affairs and communications.

But Sanders was skeptical that Azar is the right choice for the top HHS post, especially as the United States aims to lower skyrocketing prescription drug prices. Trump wrote on Twitter.

Azar served as the president of the American division of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly from 2012 until January of this year.

Azar, though a spokesman, declined to comment.

Democratic Senator Patty Murray, who has been working on bipartisan healthcare legislation, tweeted, "Given Alex Azar's professional background, there are concerns on whether he can fairly execute any significant effort to lower drug prices for patients & families".

Currently, Azar is the chairman and founder of Seraphim Strategies, which provides strategic consulting and counsel on biopharmaceutical and health insurance industries.

Azar, 50, had previously served as general counsel and then as deputy secretary of the HHS under President George W. Bush's administration.

Azar would be in charge of regulatory matters concerning the industry he helped thrive for more than a decade.

Although the Patients for Affordable Drugs said it was concerned that the former drug company executive may not take action on skyrocketing drug prices, Ben Wakana, executive director, said in a statement that Azar is well-qualified for the position. It will be interesting to see if Azar attempts to unravel his personal holdings prior to confirmation hearings, or go the route that Trump and many of his other Cabinet picks have and just ignore the norm of divestiture for public service.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article