Washington, Nov 14 (IANS) US President Donald Trump said he will nominate Alex Azar, a former pharmaceutical executive, to be the next secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“Happy to announce, I am nominating Alex Azar to be the next HHS Secretary,” Trump tweeted on Monday, Xinhua reported.
“He will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Azar, 50, had previously served as general counsel and then as deputy secretary of the HHS under President George W. Bush’s administration.
He had until early this year served as president of Lilly USA, LLC, the largest affiliate of global biopharmaceutical business Eli Lilly and Company.
If Senate confirms his nomination, Azar would replace Tom Price, the administration’s first HHS chief, who resigned in September over revelations of his use of private, costly charter jets on government travels.
The HHS is responsible for advising the President on matters of health, welfare, and income security programmes.
It also oversees health insurance programmes, including Medicare and Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.
Azar, with deep knowledge of the regulatory process, is expected to face questions from Democrats over how he will handle drug prices and the Obamacare, a Democratic bill that the GOP has repeatedly failed to repeal or replace.
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