Jan. 16, 2018
Alex Azar Is Unfit to Serve as Nation’s Top Public Health Official
Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen
Former Eli Lilly executive Alex Azar has confirmed that he is unfit to serve as the U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services. Pressed at his confirmation hearing about unaffordable medications, he responded with obfuscation and misrepresentation. His central message was, yes, medicine prices are too high – but the problem is “the system” and “incentives,” not the Big Pharma companies that leverage their monopoly power to charge exorbitant amounts – which they raise year after year after year. He renounced the most important, immediate reform – enabling Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical corporations. And, in a stunning admission, he testified that he had never lowered prices while president of Lilly USA. The U.S. Senate Finance Committee should reject his nomination to serve as the nation’s top public health official.