Alex Azar Biography
Alex Azar (Alex Michael Azar II) is an American politician, lawyer, pharmaceutical lobbyist and former drug company executive who is the current United States Secretary of Health and Human Services.
On November 13, 2017, he was nominated by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the United States Senate on January 24, 2018.
Azar previously served as the United States Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services under George W. Bush from 2005 to 2007.
Azar was also the President of the U.S. division of Eli Lilly and Company, a major pharmaceutical drug company from 2012 to 2017. He was also a member of the board of directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a pharmaceutical lobby.
Alex Azar Age
Azar was born on June 17, 1967.
Alex Azar Background
Azar was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He is the son of Lynda (Zarisky) and Alex Azar. His father, Alex, is Lebanese descent and he is a retired doctor of ophthalmology and teacher at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he practiced ophthalmology in Salisbury, Maryland, for more than 30 years.
Azar attended Parkside High School in Salisbury, Maryland, from 1981 to 1985. In 1988, he received a B.A. degree summa cum laude with highest honors in government and economics from Dartmouth College in 1988, where he was a member of the Kappa Kappa Kappa fraternity.
Later in 1991, he earned a J.D. degree at the Yale Law School, where he served as a member of the executive committee of the Yale Law Journal.
Alex Azar Wife
Azar is married. His wife is known as Jennifer Azar. The couple has two children and they all live together in Indianapolis.
Alex Azar HHS
On November 13, 2017, President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that he would nominate Azar to be the next United States Secretary of Health and Human Services. On January 24, 2018, he Azar was confirmed with a vote of 55–43 and was sworn in by Vice President Pence on January 29, 2018.
Azar has been a critic of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and predicted in 2017 that “There will be a piece of legislation passes this year that is called the repeal of Obamacare. I don’t know what’s going to be in the substance of it, but there will be a piece of legislation that says that.”
Regarding the ACA, Azar said that the Department of Health and Human Services has the latitude to “make it work a little better.”
Azar also opposes abortion rights and in a written response to Senator Patty Murray regarding future HHS policy, he said that “The mission of HHS is to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans, and this includes the unborn.”
Alex Azar Eli Lilly
In June 2007, Eli Lilly and Company’s chief executive officer Sidney Taurel hired Azar to be the company’s top lobbyist and spokesman as its Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Communications. Since the company wanted a member of the Democratic Party to have the position, it elected Barack Obama, and Azar left the position.
Later in April 2009, Azar became Vice President of Lilly’s U.S. Managed Healthcare Services organization and its Puerto Rico affiliate. That same year, the company paid $1.415 billion to settle criminal charges regarding its promotion of antipsychotic drug Zyprexa (olanzapine) for off-label uses between 1999 and 2005.
From January 1, 2012, Azar became President of Lilly USA, LLC, the largest division of Eli Lilly and Company, and was responsible for the company’s entire operations in the United States. Drugs’ prices rose substantially under his leadership. Azar also served on the board of directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a pharmaceutical lobby.
However, in January 2017, Azar resigned from Eli Lilly and he also resigned from the board of directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization.
Alex Azar Drug Prices | Alex Azar Insulin Prices
January 15, 2019, Azar said Tuesday that the Trump administration’s proposal to tie prices for certain Medicare drugs to the prices wealthy countries pay overseas has already changed the dynamic around pharmaceutical prices “perhaps forever.”
Azar also gave a full-throated defense of the administration’s drug pricing blueprint released last May and singled out a controversial proposal to tie the price of physician-administered drugs under Medicare Part B to the average price that wealthy countries like Germany or Japan pay.
Health and Human Services have claimed that Medicare Part B pays on average 180% higher prices than those countries, which can negotiate for lower drug prices so drug companies can gain access to their healthcare systems, which provide universal coverage primarily through public financing.
He said that the proposal, which has not been finalized, will ensure that drug companies can no longer pay higher prices in the U.S. to compensate for paying lower prices overseas.
“Just introducing this model has already, perhaps forever, changed the dynamics around foreign free-riding,” he said. “No drug company CEO will ever agree to a discount in Europe without having to consider the effect of (the) price of reimbursement they will get in the U.S.”
Alex Azar Net Worth
Azar has an estimated net worth of around $8.7 million.