HHS names new senior advisor for drug pricing reform

John O’Brien has been named as senior advisor to HHS Secretary Alex Azar for drug pricing reform, the agency announced Dec. 6.

The appointment follows the death of Daniel Best, who served as senior advisor to Azar and passed away in November.

Drug pricing reform has been a major focus of the Trump administration, which has proposed several initiatives to lower the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries.

O’Brien previously served as advisor to Azar for health reform and drug pricing and deputy assistant secretary for health policy within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. Prior to working for HHS, O’Brien, who is a pharmacist, served as vice president of public policy for CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. He has worked in other roles at CMS and the Notre Dame of Maryland University College of Pharmacy.

“John O’Brien has already been an integral leader in HHS’s efforts to bring down the high price of prescription drugs,” Azar said in a statement. “As a senior advisor, he will carry forward the legacy of our departed colleague Dan Best and build on the substantial progress that has already been made. John will continue to play an important role in our overall efforts to deliver Americans better, more affordable healthcare.”