HHS nominee Azar made millions working for drugmaker Lilly

HHS nominee Azar made millions working for drugmaker Lilly

President Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made millions of dollars as a top drug industry executive, according to newly filed financial disclosure forms.

Alex Azar, who was previously president of the U.S. division of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co., has a net worth of at least $8.7 million, according to documents filed with the Office of Government Ethics and analyzed by The Hill.

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Azar was paid nearly $2 million in his final year at Eli Lilly, according to the documents, which only date back to the previous 12 months. The company also paid him a $1.6 million severance package.

 

Azar spent nearly a decade at Eli Lilly, and was president during a period when the company dramatically raised the price of insulin.

If confirmed, Azar would replace Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceOvernight Health Care: Funding bill could provide help for children's health program | Questions for CVS-Aetna deal | Collins doubles funding ask for ObamaCare bill Warren questions Conway's role in curbing opioid epidemic Trump promised ‘best people’ would run government — they upended it MORE, who stepped down as HHS secretary in September amid questions about spending more than $1 million in taxpayer money on private jets for official travel.

Azar previously served in the department during President George W. Bush’s administration and was HHS general counsel from 2001 to 2005. He then became deputy secretary for the following two years.

Azar now runs a consulting firm, where he was paid $69,000 for speeches in the past year.

The Senate Health Committee will hold a hearing on Azar on Nov. 29. The committee typically holds hearings on the HHS nominee, but the Senate Finance Committee is the panel that votes to send a confirmation to the full Senate.

It’s likely Democrats will rigorously question Azar on his time as a pharmaceutical executive and on his plans for ObamaCare — a law he’s criticized, but that HHS is charged with implementing as congressional Republicans failed to repeal it earlier this year.

-Megan Wilson contributed