Alex Azar II was confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services on January 29th, 2018, but it’s not his first stint in the department. He served as Deputy Secretary and General Counsel under George W. Bush from 2001-2007 before leaving the department for the private sector. Before “accidentally falling into” the health care field, he served on the legal team for George W. Bush’s contentious Florida recount following the 2000 Presidential election. Here’s what you need to know about him.
8 facts about Alex Azar, Health and Human Services Secretary
- He oversaw the rollout of Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage in 2006.
- He is replacing Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services after Price resigned over an expensive private charter airline scandal.
- In 2007, he served as Senior Vice President of Affairs and Communications for Eli Lilly and Company, a pharmaceutical lobbying firm.
- He became the President of Lilly USA, the largest division of Eli Lilly, in 2012.
- He has been criticized for substantially raising life-saving drug prices during his time at Eli Lilly.
- Prices of insulin have more than tripled under his watch even though the drug has been around for almost a century.
- He was fined for colluding with other drug companies to keep insulin prices high in Mexico.
- He says dealing with high prescription drug prices will be his top priority as HHS Secretary, but people like Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) doubt him, saying he will do nothing to stop the pharmaceutical industry from “getting away with murder.”
If you would like to contact his office to voice your concern over high prescription drug prices, you can email him at [email protected] or call his office at 202-690-7000.