Lawmakers question Health secretary nominee on drug industry ties

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Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, faced tough questions from lawmakers concerned about his ties to the drug industry at his nomination hearing before the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions committee.
Azar, a veteran of HHS and a former executive at the Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company, has been criticized by Democrats for his lucrative career working for the drug industry.
Azar joined HHS under the George W. Bush administration after working on the 2000 Bush presidential campaign. He later became deputy secretary of HHS under Secretary Mike Leavitt. After serving in the government, Azar earned millions as an executive at the Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company.
“The skepticism I hear is the fox guarding the hen house,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., about Azar’s private sector drug industry experience.
“Your resume reads like a how-to on how to profit from government service,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. 
PHOTO: Senator Rand Paul directs a question to Alex Azar during the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Azars nomination to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 29, 2017.

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