Trump picks former pharmaceutical executive Alex Azar as health chief nominee

Alex Azar former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Trump picks former pharmaceutical executive Alex Azar as health chief nominee

President Trump said Monday he would name former pharmaceutical company executive Alex Azar as secretary of Health and Human Services.

According to a senior administration official, Azar is a twice unopposed, Senate-confirmed nominee-both for his role as general counsel and deputy secretary under President George W. Bush. Price resigned from the position in September following a scandal over his use of private jets that reportedly cost taxpayers more than $1 million.

Azar is a veteran of HHS, having served as deputy secretary under former President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2007.

Prior to serving in the Trump administration, Price was a USA representatives from Georgia's 6th congressional district from 2005-2017.

"Happy to announce, I am nominating Alex Azar to be the next HHS Secretary", Trump wrote on Twitter.

Azar went on to join pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, eventually heading its operations from 2012 until this past January.

If confirmed, Azar would replace Trump's first HHS secretary, Tom Price, who was forced to resign after criticism mounted over his private plane trips.

Mr. Trump tweeted while overseas of his intentions to tap Azar, writing that Azar "will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!"

U.S. President Donald Trump (R), flanked by Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tom Price, delivers remarks during an opioid-related briefing at Trump's golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., August 8, 2017. He also has called for insurance companies and drugmakers to work together to lower the price of drugs.

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