FDAnews Drug Daily Bulletin
Pharmaceuticals / Regulatory Affairs

Senate Committee Probes HHS Nominee Azar’s Role in Eli Lilly Price Hikes

Jan. 17, 2018

Alex Azar, President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, emphasized his view that “drug prices are too high” to the Senate Finance Committee, even as Democrats continued to ask about his role in drug cost increases at Eli Lilly when he served as its president.

Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) denounced Azar for price increases that occurred during his tenure on Lilly’s pricing committee. During that period, he said, the prices of numerous Lilly drugs, including bone-growth treatment Forteo, ADHD treatment Stratera and heart disease drug Effient, more than doubled.

Questioned by Wyden on accuracy of the price increases, Azar confirmed the data were “directionally correct.” Asked again if he had ever signed off on a price decrease in the United States, Azar said he was unaware of any drug whose price had been lowered in the United States, for which he blamed incentives within the system and pledged to work through HHS to reverse those incentives.

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