President Donald Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary on Tuesday tried to assure lawmakers his experience as a drug executive — an industry the president has often vilified — makes him uniquely qualified to rein in soaring drug costs.
But Senate Democrats, during a Finance Committee hearing on his nomination, voiced skepticism that Alex Azar, who until last year ran Eli Lilly’s U.S. operations, will take significant steps toward cracking down on the pharmaceutical industry that he just left.
Azar cast himself as sympathetic to concerns about escalating drug prices, assuring the committee he had a holistic view of how to untangle a complex system that encourages drugmakers to continuously raise prices.
“Every incentive in this system is for higher prices,” Azar said. “No one company’s going to fix that system.