- The Trump Administration recently announced it has selected former Eli Lilly American Division President and former Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) General Counsel Alex Azar to serve as the new HHS Secretary.
The nomination comes after former HHS Secretary and Georgia Congressman Tom Price resigned following allegations he had spent at least $400,000 in travel bills for chartered flights. Azar will replace Acting HHS Secretary Eric Hagan. Hagan served in place of Price after his resignation.
“Happy to announce, I am nominating Alex Azar to be the next HHS Secretary,” President Trump tweeted earlier this week. “He will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!”
Azar will bring a decade of experience as a pharmaceutical executive to the position. In the past, he has advocated for lower prescription drug prices and voiced support for the transition from paper-based records to EHRs. He also has experience as a conservative lawyer, serving as a clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court in the early 1990s after graduating from Yale Law School.
The nominee resigned from Eli Lilly in January. The pharmaceutical company produces Cialis, Humulin, and Trulicity, and other popular drugs.
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) has stated it expects to work closely with Azar in the future to maintain a focus on transitioning the healthcare system toward value-based care.
“As Mr. Azar navigates the confirmation process, HIMSS expects to work closely with him and the HHS team to ensure that health information and technology remain vital enablers of healthcare transformation,” said HIMMS in a statement posted on their website. “Innovation, interoperability, cybersecurity, and active engagement of consumers, caregivers, and providers will enhance our ability to delivery on the promise of 21st Century, value-based healthcare.”