To the Editor:

We are not draining the swamp because the pump never worked. President Trump has nominated Alex Azar to head the department of Health and Human Services — a department that has the goal of protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services.  

Mr. Azar was a top executive at the drug manufacturer, Eli Lilly. This is a company investigated by the Justice Dept. for price fixing and fined $1.4 billion for false product marketing.  

While at Eli Lilly, the company spent $30 million in just three years lobbying the government.

While Azar was at Eli Lilly, insulin went from $74 to $269 (it is $2.80/bottle in India), resulting in people self-rationing, skipping refills, injecting expired insulin and starving themselves in an ineffective attempt to control their blood sugar levels. which could lead to death.

Why is Humolog (insulin) Quick Pen $500 in the U.S. and $35 in Canada (same company)?  While at Eli Lilly, Mr. Azar never advocated for price decreases — instead the price of insulin tripled.

He also wants to change the Medicaid program, which would end guaranteed coverage, thereby threatening services, including long-term care for the elderly and people with disabilities.

While medication prices continue to rise, we need an untainted and credible head of HHS to advocate for patients and our health care system — not an executive with a history of spiking the prices of life saving medicines.

The swamp continues to overflow.

Sandra Blankenship


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