Alex Azar unveiled as Trump's pick for health secretary

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Alex Azar II has been nominated to serve as the next secretary of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS).

But he did mention it when he announced his intention to nominate Azar on Twitter.

Azar served as HHS's No. 2 under Secretary Mike Leavitt, who said he asked Azar to oversee the department's regulatory process. Mr. Trump said Mr. Azar would be "a star and lower drug prices!"

Shortly after, he joined the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly as a senior vice president of corporate affairs and communications and eventually became president of Lilly USA, according to his LinkedIn. The drugmaker has drawn criticism from patient advocacy groups for price increases to one of its biggest products: insulin, used to treat high blood sugar for almost 100 years. In meetings with industry executives, however, Trump has focused on speeding up drug approvals, a cost-reducing tactic they would back. "I am. interested in how, given Mr. Azar's professional background, he believes he can fairly execute any significant effort to lower drug prices for patients", she said in a statement. Prices are "out of control" and "have gone through the roof", Trump said.

Azar admirers say his industry experience should be considered an asset, not a liability.

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Trump's pick to lead the Food and Drug Administration, Scott Gottlieb, also faced scrutiny for receiving consulting payments from drugmakers and medical device companies while in the private sector.

Azar spent five years at Lilly, which makes several blockbuster medications, including Cialis, which treats erectile dysfunction; the antidepressant Cymbalta; and several forms of insulin.

Trump's first HHS secretary, Tom Price, resigned in September after his extensive use of private and military jets at taxpayer expense was revealed.

The Washington Post reported that the Yale Law school grad clerked for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a Trump favorite, while also working for former special counsel Kenneth Starr during the Whitewater investigation of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

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