Despite his close past ties with the pharmaceutical industry, a wide range of hospital executives and healthcare trade groups have come out in support of Alex Azar to be the next secretary of health and human services.
Mr. Azar, who ran Eli Lilly’s U.S. operations for five years until he stepped down from the position last January, was deputy secretary of HHS in the George W. Bush administration. Healthcare-sector officials generally lauded his mix of work experience in the public and private sectors, and his understanding of the sprawling inner workings of HHS.
“We need an HHS secretary who is willing to take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry and lower prescription drug prices not one who has financially benefited from this greed. I will vigorously oppose this nomination.”
Susan DeVore, CEO of Premier, an alliance of some 3,900 U.S. hospitals and health systems and about 150,000 other providers and organizations, told FierceHealthcare: “We know from that work he understands the need to move away from the perverse incentives in the Medicare fee-for-service payment system and to do so in a fashion that incents high-quality care. He also appreciates the need to have access to healthcare data and interoperability of health information systems.”
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