Alex Azar was confirmed as the US Secretary of Health & Human Services on January 24, 2018. He served as the Deputy Secretary of Health & Human Services from 2005-2007, under President George W. Bush
In between these 2 appointments (2012-2017) Azar was president of the US division of Eli Lilly, one of the largest American pharmaceutical companies, which is based in Indiana, Mike Pence’s home state. He was responsible for the entire company’s operations. Prices under Azar rose dramatically; for example, Humalog’s price doubled in just those 5 years. His new position bodes well for the pharmaceutical industry; it seems unlikely that Azar will push his former industry to lower prices.
However, if Azar does go after drug prices, he may focus on pharmacy benefit managers; Big Pharma likes to blame PBMs for rising costs. At a minimum, insurers and pharmaceutical companies may soon get an experienced secretary familiar with how the HHS works.
Rollcall.com has reported that since 2000, Azar spent about $105,000 in political contributions.
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