WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Monday stated he’ll nominate former pharmaceutical government and trade lobbyist Alex Azar to function U.S. Well being and Human Companies secretary, saying Azar would push to decrease the worth of medicines.
If confirmed, Azar additionally would take the lead in implementing Trump’s marketing campaign promise to dismantle the Reasonably priced Care Act, the 2010 healthcare overhaul handed underneath former Democratic President Barack Obama.
Trump, who’s within the Philippines on a diplomatic journey, introduced his intention to appoint Azar on Twitter by saying he would “be a star for higher healthcare and decrease drug costs.”
Azar’s nomination comes after Trump’s preliminary well being secretary, former U.S. Consultant Tom Value, resigned in September amid criticism over his use of costly taxpayer-funded non-public constitution jets for presidency journey as a substitute of cheaper business flights.
Democrats had been cautious of their response to Trump’s announcement with Senator Chuck Schumer calling for the well being company to show over a brand new leaf with Azar.
Democratic Senator Patty Murray, who has been engaged on bipartisan healthcare laws, tweeted, “Given Alex Azar’s skilled background, there are considerations on whether or not he can pretty execute any important effort to decrease drug costs for sufferers & households.”
Republicans had been supportive with Senate well being committee head Lamar Alexander of Tennessee describing Azar as a certified, skilled nominee.
Trump has stated he plans to convey down “out-of-control” drug costs.
Azar labored at Eli Lilly (LLY.N) for a decade, together with 5 years as president of its USA affiliate Lilly USA unit, and left the corporate in January, in accordance with his LinkedIn web page.
He additionally served a number of years on the board of administrators of the Biotechnology Innovation Group, a drug trade lobbying group, and earlier was common counsel and deputy secretary for Well being and Human Companies underneath former Republican President George W. Bush.
In February, Azar based a consulting company that specialised in biopharmaceutical and healthcare corporations, his LinkedIn web page stated.
Affected person advocacy group Public Citizen stated Azar has made it clear he’s against measures “to restrain prescription corporations’ profiteering and restrict improper advertising” and that he favors weaker security approval requirements.
As head of HHS, Azar would have oversight accountability for the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration, which regulates the drug trade together with approving new therapies.
Azar’s nomination should be accepted by the U.S. Senate, which is managed by Trump’s fellow Republicans.
Reporting by Susan Heavey; Extra reporting by Caroline Humer and Susan Cornwell; Modifying by Chizu Nomiyama and Invoice Trott