On Nov. 13, 2017, President Trump nominated former pharmaceutical executive, Alex Azar, to be his next Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary. He would succeed Tom Price, who resigned in September amid multiple federal inquiries and growing criticism of his use of private and government planes for travel.
Azar spent nearly a decade at Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly, where he rose to become president of the pharmaceutical giant's U.S. operations before leaving earlier this year. Prior to that, he served as HHS General Counsel and then Deputy Secretary under the Bush Administration.
In contrast to Price, an orthopedic surgeon and former Congressman, Azar is a lawyer and health care expert who some predict will be able to tap into his deep knowledge of the federal bureaucracy to advance President Trump’s agenda of overhauling the Affordable Care Act.
Azar will need to be confirmed by the Senate before taking the top post at HHS. His confirmation will likely be a challenge, given Senate Democrats’ pledges to scrutinize his record in the Bush Administration and as a drug company executive.
Impact on General Dentistry: The AGD will continue to monitor and report on Azar’s nomination as it moves through the confirmation process.