Trump turns to drug in­dus­try for new health sec­re­tary

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - PAGE TWO - > > > Find more briefs on­line at www.hawai­itri­bune-her­ald.com.

WASH­ING­TON (AP) — Turn­ing to an in­dus­try he re­buked, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Mon­day picked a for­mer top phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and gov­ern­ment ex­ec­u­tive to be his health sec­re­tary.

If con­firmed, Alex Azar would over­see a $1 tril­lion depart­ment re­spon­si­ble for ma­jor health in­sur­ance pro­grams, in­clud­ing Oba­macare, as well as med­i­cal re­search, food and drug safety and pub­lic health.

Azar’s nom­i­na­tion is un­usual be­cause Health and Hu­man Ser­vices sec­re­taries have come from the ranks of elected of­fi­cials such as gov­er­nors, lead­ers in academia and medicine, or top ex­ec­u­tive branch man­agers — not in­dus­tries reg­u­lated by the depart­ment.

“He will be a star for bet­ter health­care and lower drug prices!” Trump tweeted in a morn­ing an­nounce­ment. Trump has a track record of mak­ing in­dus­try-friendly nom­i­na­tions, such as for­mer ExxonMo­bil CEO Rex Tiller­son as sec­re­tary of state and wealthy in­vestor Wil­bur Ross as sec­re­tary of com­merce.

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