Health Care

Trump selects Alex Azar to lead HHS

Trump selects Alex Azar to lead HHS

"His previous leadership experience at HHS and his work at Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly will be an effective combination as we work to solve our nation's most significant healthcare challenges", said Young in a statement.

President Trump on Monday morning announced via Twitter that he'll nominate Alex Azar to be Health and Human Services secretary, replacing Tom Price, who was forced to resign in September after revelations that he took multiple trips on government and private jets at taxpayer expense.

In February, Azar founded a consulting agency that specialized in biopharmaceutical and healthcare companies, his LinkedIn page said. The complexity of pharmaceutical pricing has thwarted legislation to lower drug prices.

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Republicans were supportive with Senate health committee head Lamar Alexander of Tennessee describing Azar as a qualified, experienced nominee. He served as deputy secretary of HHS under former President George W. Bush and has been considered a frontrunner for the secretary position since mid-October.

Cowen analyst Eric Assaraf, for his part, wrote in a note seen by Business Insider that even though "Trump specifically called out lowering drug prices in his announcement of Azar, we don't believe his appointment will mark a change in course in that realm".

Azar also drew praise from PhRMA, the largest pharmaceutical industry trade group and America's Health Insurance Plans, the key lobbyist for the insurer industry. "Alex Azar will be able to hit the ground running, following his confirmation, in addressing the challenges facing Medicare and Medicaid and bringing a patient-centered, value-focused approach to healthcare policymaking".