11,500. 11/14/2017

DRUGS/HHS/NOMINATIONS/PHARMA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump tweeted Monday [11-13-17] that his nominee for HHS secretary, Alex Azar will ‘be a star for … lower drug prices!’ But the record of the former top executive for Eli Lilly, which tripled the price of a top-selling insulin drug while he led its U.S. operation, suggests a different story.
Lilly is one of three drug companies targeted by a class-action lawsuit that accuses the company, then under Azar’s watch, of exploiting the drug pricing system to ensure higher profit for insulin and has been fined in Mexico for colluding on the pricing of the drug.
Azar, who spent almost a decade at Eli Lilly, rising to become president of the drug giant’s U.S. operations before leaving earlier this year, doesn’t deny drug costs are a consumer issue. But his record there and as a top official in George W. Bush’s administration suggests he’s unlikely to push pricing policies that would hit pharmaceutical companies’ pocketbooks…
Trump’s focus on drug pricing in announcing Azar’s nomination didn’t win over doubters, who no longer believe he is serious about going after the industry he once slammed as ‘getting away with murder.’ But it will make it easier for critics to pounce on what will likely be the toughest barrier for Azar to overcome during his confirmation process in the Senate.
Sen. Bernie Sanders said Monday he will ‘vigorously oppose’ the nomination of Azar.”

-Sarah Karlin-Smith, “Trump’s HHS secretary nominee boosted drug prices while at Eli Lilly,” Politico, Nov. 14, 2017 12:26pm

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