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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:

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