Trump Just Picked a Pharma Exec Accused Of Increasing Drug Prices To Lead HHS Department
President Trump just announced on Twitter that he is nominating former pharmaceutical company executive Alex Azar to succeed Tom Price as the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Azar, who previously served as HHS general counsel for President George W. Bush, was the president of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co. As part of his role at Lilly USA, Azar was on the board of directors for the Boards of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), a drug lobbying group, according to CNN.
Azar became president of Lilly USA in 2012. During his tenure, Azar was accused of routinely increasing drug prices.
In an October letter, Reps. Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona, Mark Pocan, D-Wisconsin, and Jan Schakowsky, D-Illinois, wrote that under his leadership, Azar’s company fought “against federal and state legislation to increase drug pricing transparency.”
And a lawsuit filed in Massachusetts in early 2017 alleges that the company shot up prices on insulin “in near lockstep” with two other pharmaceutical manufacturers, according to The New York Times.
You can read Trump’s announcement and some of the reactions from Twitter users below:
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2017
Hmm an executive from a pharma company will lower prices… seems about right.
— NoCo (@nocorock) November 13, 2017
Um…isn't he from #BigPharma ? Why would he lower drug prices?
— Cheryl K (Cherryred) (@CherrysCapuche) November 13, 2017
“Happy to announce” should only be followed with “my resignation.”
— Jason Firestein (@GolfingEsq) November 13, 2017
Did you discuss this, w/Putin and Duartes Leaders everything is 'beautiful" with those #Tyrants
— MIMI (@SShall57) November 13, 2017
Lower drug prices for whom? Guess how many people in England go bankrupt over healthcare? NONE! How many worry about a bill after a stay in hospital? NONE!
— Lee Goatboy Hartnup (@Goatboy667) November 13, 2017
— Kris Knudsen (@KristophKnudsen) November 13, 2017
Really the President of the largest drug manufacturer in the world? How can we be shocked when you support lawyers who have never tried cases to be judges and pedophiles to be US Senators.
— Captain (@jrogal) November 13, 2017
— NotMyPres (@ResistPres) November 13, 2017
— Martin Andrade (@martin24hours) November 13, 2017
Better healthcare and lower drug prices? Riiight. Neither of those things will happen. The big drug companies "donate" $ to Congress members to help keep their profits high, i.e. higher drug prices than necessary. GOP already tried to take away healthcare so.
— Laura (@Lrondo9) November 13, 2017
Some one who has been tied to keep insulin costs high as well as having a conflict of interest. Yup, totally a Trump pick
— Paul Salmon (@salmonpaul76) November 13, 2017