The November 1 death of Daniel Best, a former pharmaceutical executive in charge of efforts to lower prescription drug prices for the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has been ruled a suicide, according to the Washington D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, which noted that Best died of “multiple blunt force injuries,” according to Cleveland.com.
Best, a senior adviser to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, was found “unresponsive” at 5:25 a.m. on Nov. 1 near the garage door exit of a Navy Yard apartment building, which is located approximately a mile south of the Capitol. He was pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel.
A drug industry insider, Best worked for over a decade as an executive for several companies, including 12 years at Pfizer, Universal American, MemberHealth and CVS Caremark Corporation, where he made just over $500,000 per year negotiating drug prices for seniors.
His March appointment drew the ire of President Trump’s opponents, who accused his administration of becoming too close with the drug industry. Best was advising Azar – a former pharma executive and lobbyist, on drug pricing.
“He brought his deep expertise and passion to this task with great humility and collegiality,” said Azar in a statement following Best’s death. “All of us who served with Dan at HHS and in the administration mourn his passing and extend our thoughts and prayers to his wife Lisa and the entire Best family at this difficult time.”
In May, Stat reported that Best was a seasoned negotiator – however questions remained on “whether he’ll advocate for his former colleagues in the PBM world, or if, in the words of a lobbyist, he’ll show the public “where the bodies are buried“