At the time, Trump said he was "not happy" about Price's use of charter flights and said he would "look into it". He would replace Tom Price, who stepped down in September after a controversy surrounding use of private jets.
In January 2017, shortly after David Ricks replaced John Lechleiter as Lilly's chief executive, the company said Mr. Azar was leaving Lilly to pursue other career opportunities.
Azar, who ran Indianapolis-based Lilly's U.S. operations until earlier this year, has been an advocate for more state flexibility under Obamacare.
When he's pretending to be a populist, Trump has treated the pharmaceutical industry with public disdain.
In 2000, Azar was active in the Bush-Cheney campaign while still working at the law firm Wiley, Rein & Fielding. These are goals that the administration, to date, generally has failed to achieve. "Within 30 days of being at HHS, however ..."
Americans consistently rank the high cost of prescription drugs among their top health care priorities, ahead of divisive issues like repealing former President Barack Obama's healthcare law.
That appears to be the Trump Administration's hope for an agency in an area that has seen the administration's biggest policy failure, the inability to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Other insulin makers including Sanofi SA and Novo Nordisk A/S also were criticized for raising prices substantially. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. He also served on the board of the biopharmaceutical industry trade group BIO, according to Politico.
What is Azar's background and is it relevant to this position?
Following Yale Law School, Azar clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and later joined the Whitewater independent counsel headed by his "mentor" Ken Starr.
Congressional Democrats are likely to pounce on Azar's drug ties, reminding Trump of his promise to "drain the swamp" of Washington influence peddling. Mr. Azar couldn't be reached for comment.
Azar will face confirmation hearings before the Senate's HELP committee, which includes among its members such Democrats as Massachusetts Sen.
Andy Slavitt, who oversaw Medicare, Medicaid and insurance markets during the Obama administration, said that while he differed with any Trump pick over "political values...realistically, it could have been a helluva lot worse". Last month, it proposed a rule giving states more flexibility over the benefits that must be covered by insurance.
"This potential conflict of interest raises questions about his ability to lower prices for individuals", said Keera Annamaneni '20, the organization's communications director.