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Trump favors ex-pharma executive Azar for health secretary: Politico

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump is leaning toward naming former pharmaceutical industry executive Alex Azar as his pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, Politico reported on Tuesday, citing two White House officials.

He would replace Republican Tom Price, who resigned last month amid controversy over his heavy use of private and government jets for travel at taxpayer expense.

Azar was deputy secretary at HHS during the administration of President George W. Bush before joining drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co, first as senior vice president of corporate affairs and communications and later as president of Lilly USA, its U.S. affiliate, according to his LinkedIn page.

He left the company in January to form an Indianapolis-based healthcare consulting firm, his Linkedin entry says.

Azar also clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia and was a partner at Washington law firm Wiley, Rein and Fielding, the Linkedin page says.

The White House declined comment on the report.

Azar did not immediately respond to a request for comment, Politico said.

Reporting by Tim Ahmann and Eric Walsh; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Cynthia Osterman