Alex Azar II, Son of Ophthalmologist, is New Secretary of Health and Human Services

February 2, 2018: By Joan McKenna

Alex Azar II

Alex Azar II, the son of ophthalmologist Alex Azar, MD, is the new secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The Senate confirmed Azar’s nomination Jan. 24.

The senior Azar has practiced ophthalmology in Salisbury, Maryland, since 1976 and teaches at Johns Hopkins. He told a local paper that his son’s appointment is the epitome of the American dream, given that his father immigrated to the US from Lebanon 100 years ago.

The new secretary, 50, worked at Lilly USA from 2007 to January 2017, ascending to the role of president. He served as general counsel and deputy secretary in Health and Human Services in the George W. Bush administration.

He earned a law degree from Yale, then clerked for Judge Antonin Scalia in an appeals court. He also worked under special prosecutor Ken Starr in the early years of the Whitewater investigation.

Sen. Rand Paul, MD, an ophthalmologist from Kentucky, was the only GOP member to vote against Azar’s nomination. Paul said he couldn’t back confirmation unless Azar showed he was open to the idea of allowing drugs to be imported from other countries where they often cost much less.


Need Deeper Analysis? Sign up for Market Scope's monthly newsletter to get in-depth coverage of the ophthalmic market, including quarterly procedure volumes based on survey data and meeting coverage from around the world.

Recent Ophthalmic News

Carl Zeiss Meditec Announces Milestone of 1.5 Million SMILE Procedures

Heidelberg Gains US Clearance for OCT Angiography Module

ASCRS Convenes Task Force to Study CyPass Data, Make Recommendations

Bascom Palmer Treats First US Patient in Nightstar’s Trial for X-Linked Retinitis Pigmentosa

First Patient Treated in Allotex’ Trial for Allogenic Refractive Lenticules for Presbyopia

Bausch + Lomb Announces Positive Results for Loteprednol Etabonate Gel

LumiThera Set to Launch Valeda Light Delivery System for Dry AMD

Kodiak Sciences Names Jason Ehrlich, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer

Second Sight Receives $1.6 Million Grant from NIH to Support Orion Program

Regeneron to Invest $800 Million in New York Campus

American Women Raise Funds for Nepal Mission to Reduce Corneal Blindness

Ziemer to Add Lenticule Extraction Capabilities to LDV Z8

Stealth BioTherapeutics Raises $100 Million in Support of Elamipretide for Dry AMD

STAAR Gains US Approval of Visian Toric ICL

Sun Pharma, SPARC Announce FDA Approval for Xelpros for Open-Angle Glaucoma, Ocular Hypertension

FDA Will Review Regeneron’s Submission to Expand Eylea’s Labeling to All DR Patients

Alcon Will Locate Headquarters in Switzerland

Kodiak Sciences Files for $100 Million IPO

Iridex Announces $10 Million Public Offering

Oxford BioMedica Expands Capacity with New Facility