MORNING OF SPEECH: “INSULIN PRICES IN THE SPOTLIGHT AT STATE OF THE UNION — President Donald Trump is expected to announce a new initiative to lower the cost of insulin during his address to Congress”
Flashback: “Trump administration wants to lower seniors’ insulin costs…HHS Secretary Alex Azar is recused from the effort because he was previously the president of Eli Lilly, one of three dominant insulin manufacturers.”
Flashback: Azar received $1,600,000 in severance from Eli Lilly and made as much as $1 million in capital gains from Eli Lilly stock.
READ: Freedom of Information Act request
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Patients Over Pharma sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Health and Human Services requesting all correspondence related to the insulin price policymaking process and the State of the Union address. As of the morning of the speech, President Trump was expected to discuss new policies to tackle the high price of insulin, but the issue didn’t come up.
“We know that Secretary Azar was supposed to recuse himself from the policymaking process given his recent multi-million dollar work for the pharmaceutical company making billions of dollars from high insulin prices, but we don’t know what role he or any other Big Pharma allies in the Administration played in pushing insulin policy commitments out of its expected high profile place in the State of the Union,” said Eli Zupnick, spokesman for Patients Over Pharma.
“We hope that the Department of Health and Human Services cooperates with this request and is open with the public about who worked to keep this policy out of the State of the Union and whether that was done to protect Big Pharma profits. And then we hope that the Trump administration reverses course and stands up to the Big Pharma allies who don’t want the spotlight placed on insulin price-gouging.”
According to reports, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar had to recuse himself from the policymaking process due to his former job as a top executive at Eli Lilly, which makes billions of dollars each year from their highly profitable insulin products.
Prices for Diabetes Medication Soared Under Azar, Resulted in Ongoing Investigation & Class Action Lawsuit for Price Fixing
- During Azar’s tenure, Eli Lilly increased the cost of Diabetes medication Humalog by 345 percent.
- Eli Lilly increased the price of insulin by 450% above inflation while Azarwas at the company.
- Attorneys general in several states are reportedly investigating insulin drug pricing by Eli Lilly including charges of price fixing that would have occurred during Azar’s tenure.
- Eli Lilly is named as a defendant in a class action lawsuit alleging price fixing during Azar’s tenure.