President Trump has nominated Alex Azar to head up the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

alex-azar-named-to-head-hhsAs recently as January of this year, Azar was president of the American wing of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, where he served from 2012 in various posts. Under President George W. Bush, Azar served as deputy secretary of HHS from 2005 to 2007.

The post of HHS secretary has been vacant since Tom Price, M.D., resigned in September amid scrutiny of his use of chartered and military jets for transportation — to the tune of at least $1 million in taxpayer funding.

Azar was on a short list for the nomination. Two other  potential nominees — Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb — said publicly they were happy in their current roles, leaving the field open.

Trump has long voiced the view that pharmaceutical prices are too high, so it will be interesting to see if a former pharmaceutical executive has any groundbreaking answers.

A nomination statement on the site says of Azar:

Prior to his time at Lilly USA, Mr. Azar was the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services immediately after serving as its General Counsel, where the Senate confirmed him for both Presidential appointments by voice vote. He received his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and his juris doctorate from Yale University.