Accessibility links

Breaking News

Former Pharma Exec Confirmed as New US Health Chief

Alex Azar testifies during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 9, 2018.

The Senate has confirmed a former pharmaceutical industry executive as head of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.

Alex Azar, former president of the U.S. division of Eli Lilly & Co., was confirmed by a 55-43 vote on Wednesday.

Azar, 50, will replace Tom Price, who resigned in September amid questions over his use of private jets for official travel.

Azar says he has four main priorities for the Health and Human Services Department: help curb the cost of prescription drugs; make health insurance more affordable and available; continue bipartisan efforts to focus Medicare payments on quality; and confront the opioid addiction epidemic.

Azar had served in senior health jobs under President George W. Bush and had the support of much of the health care industry.

Your opinion

Show comments