The Senate Finance Committee today held a hearing for Alex Azar, President Trump’s nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services. Azar, former president of Lilly USA and deputy HHS secretary under the George W. Bush administration, faced a number of questions from senators about his ties to the pharmaceutical industry and how he would tackle high drug prices. If confirmed, Azar said he would focus his efforts on addressing the high cost of drugs; making health care more affordable, available and “tailored to what individuals want and need in their care”; harnessing “the power of Medicare to shift the focus in our health care system from paying for procedures and sickness to paying for health and outcomes”; and tackling “the scourge of the opioid epidemic.” Tom Price, M.D., resigned as HHS secretary last September. Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan has been serving as acting secretary.

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