Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary-Nominee Alex Azar’s Confirmation Hearing was yet another slap in the face for America’s patients who need access to safe and affordable prescription medications.
Numerous Senators raised red flags around Azar’s actions during his tenure at Eli Lilly & Company, which includes dramatically increasing the prices for several medications that resulted in huge profits for the company.
When Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) repeatedly asked Azar if he had ever lowered the price of a drug while working for #BigPharma, he refused to answer the question.
Repeatedly throughout the hearing, Azar pointed to the insurance industry and Pharmacy Benefit Managers as the true cause of the problem of high drug prices, which shows his true colors. He is still fighting on behalf of industry despite the fact that he is being considered for the most important leadership role within public health.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) questioned Azar about spending on advertising compared to spending on research and development while at Eli Lilly & Company, and Azar conveniently forgot what the company was spending on advertising, yet with absolute certainty he remembered that they spent $5-billion on R&D. We think that’s highly suspicious and again suggests that Azar will be working on behalf of #BigPharma if confirmed to lead HHS.
While this is a critical discussion for the future of public health, there is nothing new here and the public and others have demanded change. The more things change, the more they stay the same apparently.
The full hearing can be accessed here http://cnb.cx/2qLs4hh