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  • HIVMA looks forward to working with HHS Sec. Alex Azar to improve access to health care and end the HIV epidemic

    01/24/2018

    Contact:Jennifer Morales (703) 299-0412  jmorales@idsociety.org or PCI Public Relations (312) 558-1770 idsa@pcipr.com   

    As the new Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar will face important challenges, including ensuring that quality health care is available and affordable for all, that the cost of life-saving medications is within the reach of those who need them, and that HHS makes a robust commitment to end to the co-occurring epidemics of HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, viral hepatitis, and opioid addiction.  As a former general counsel and deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Mr. Azar has experience that can help him to address issues of equity to protect the health of all Americans. During his previous tenure with the agency, he helped to establish the office of Public Health and Preparedness reflecting his awareness and willingness to respond proactively and with robust resources to threats to our nation’s well-being. His experience in the pharmaceutical industry has informed him of the life-saving advances spurred by investments in research and development and the life-changing value of medicines to patients. Now he has the opportunity – and obligation - to use these insights to create and enforce new drug pricing strategies that will improve access to these medicines for all Americans. During the nomination process he committed to addressing high drug prices, confronting the national opioid epidemic, and improving access to healthcare coverage. As HHS Secretary (and without an Office of National AIDS Policy) he will be in charge of fully implementing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy that has catalyzed substantial progress toward ending the epidemic. It will take commitment and resolve to ensure that this important work does not regress under this administration. All of these challenges call for a commitment to science and evidence-based responses, a firm stand against the bias and discrimination that keeps many Americans from accessing effective health services, and a willingness to overcome politics and ideologies. We stand ready to work with him on these and other challenges to ensure the needs of people living with HIV and those at-risk are met, and to sustain  progress toward eliminating HIV as a public health threat.

     

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