Dr. Tom Price to divest interest in 43 companies if confirmed as head of HHS

Rep. Tom Price, MD, R-Ga., vowed to divest his interests in 43 companies, many of which are healthcare companies, if he is confirmed to the post as secretary of HHS.

In a letter to HHS' ethics office dated Jan. 11, Dr. Price lists the companies he has investments in, which include Aetna, athenahealth, CVS, Eli Lilly, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, McKesson and Pfizer. The sale of his stocks in those companies and the others listed will be completed within 90 days of his confirmation, he wrote.

If confirmed, Dr. Price wrote he will also resign as a delegate of the American Medical Association and resign as managing partner of Chattahoochee Associates, an Atlanta-area surgical group. Dr. Price will retain passive interest in Chattahoochee Associates, meaning he will still receive investment income from it.

The letter comes amid calls for an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into the stock trades Dr. Price made during his time in Congress. Dr. Price allegedly traded more than $300,000 of healthcare-related stocks while sponsoring and backing legislation in Congress that could impact those stock values, according to a report published by The Wall Street Journal in December.

On Monday, Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., wrote a letter to the SEC calling for an investigation into Dr. Price's trades. "As a chairman of House Budget Committee and member of the House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Health, Congressman Price was privy to information not available to the public," she wrote. "The fact that these trades were made and in many cases timed to achieve significant earnings or avoid losses would lead a reasonable person to question whether the transactions were triggered by insider knowledge."

The Senate Committee on Health, Education Labor and Pensions has a hearing on Dr. Price's nomination slated for Jan. 18. His confirmation will ultimately be approved by the Senate Finance Committee, according to a Politico report. The finance committee has not yet published its hearing schedule for this session of Congress.


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