Daniel Best, President Trump's "Drug Pricing Czar" was found dead earlier this month with multiple blunt force injuries. The office of the medical examiner in Washington, D.C. where he was found dead has made its official ruling. It's a suicide they say. Despite the fact that there are no reports that he showed any signs of being depressed or suicidal. Despite the fact that you'd have to be seriously disturbed to manage to bludgeon yourself to death. That said, the authorities have ruled, and I guess I can agree. Threatening the pharma cartels appears to be potentially suicidal whether you were depressed or not.
The high-level federal official tasked with lowering drug prices was found dead and, according to authorities, took his own life.
Steven N. Byers, Introduction to Forensic Anthropology textbook Chapter 13 is related to the topic of blunt force trauma. In the subsection "Determining Cause And Manner Of Death" Byers offers a tidbit of information that most folks, whether they're experts in forensic science or not probably would consider common sense: "persons rarely commit suicide by hitting themselves on the skull with a bludgeon." though he advises students to be wary of the warning from the previous chapter regarding determining manner of death.
Killing one's self by repeatedly beating yourself in the head seems physically implausible at best. Blunt trauma, however, is not cause for ruling out suicide, but context matters here. Dr. Byers points out the viability of blunt force trauma being concurrent with apparent suicide in the case of jumping from high places, intentionally crashing through a car windshield or into a train
That said, once again, a certain level of common sense is at play here and reminds us that contextual clues are important here: "For example, a skeleton exhibiting blunt injuries to the skull found in the presence of a piece of two-by-four wood stained with blood is more indicative of homicide than suicide or accidental death.
The book Body Trauma: A Writer's Guide to Wounds and Injuries, author David W. Page points out that near death from hanging is often a result of an attempt to commit suicide. If not perfectly executed (pun only partially intended) a would be suicide could likely find themselves only partially, but painfully, strangulated. I'm going to go out on a limb here (ok, that time the pun was fully intended) and say that if death by hanging is likely to result in a botched job that leaves the victim only severely swollen and hemorrhaging then attempting to end your life via bludgeon is fraught with far more potential points of failure. Chances are if you managed to beat yourself badly enough you'd only end up incapacitated and, obviously, unable to finish the job.
A search of academic texts didn't return many relevant results apart from some of what I've mentioned earlier. Out of curiousity, I decided to see if there had been any cases of successful suicide attempts where the implement chosen was a bludgeon type object. I found a short <a href="https://suicideproject.org/2011/03/hitting-yourself-in-the-head-with-a-baseball-bat-possible-method/">post at a site called the Suicide Project</a>. The post in question posited the potential for a baseball bat to be used to off yourself due to the fact that a hard enough hit in the temple with a bat can easily result in a coma or death.
As commenters pointed out though, the act itself would be unwieldy and awkward at best, not to mention mustering sufficient torque at the proper angle would be difficult. Then there's the fact that the harder you hit yourself in the head the harder it would be to hit yourself again. Then there's the difficulty of managing to hit yourself precisely in the temple.
Sure, it could be possible but it's certainly not likely and the odds of just knocking yourself into a coma or giving yourself brain damage would be far more likely results than death.
The tin foil hatter inside of me has felt for years now that the whole opioid epidemic was allowed to happen. Encouraged even and the whole purpose of the CDC ruling opioid addiction as an "epidemic" is part of the master plan to make sure our investment in the opium plantations of Afghanistan continues to pay off.
Funny how that works though isn't it? Seems like whatever military engagements we're in at the time dictates the dope du jour. Lest you call me paranoid, I'll point out a recent historical example.
In the late 70's when the CIA was overseeing the trade of arms for cocaine from Nicaraguan rebels the end result was so much freely available cocaine that the prices dropped due to the glut on the market. Enter "crack," easily freebased "rock" cocaine that was far more addictive than insufflating powder cocaine.
Before Olly North and the Contras, at the height of the Vietnam war heroin came into fashion in a big way.
HHS, by the way, wants the DEA to circumvent the legislative process and ban components in kratom seeing as it's as likely to cause a public health crisis?!?
It's been increasingly obvious to more and more people that the pharma cartels are about as ruthless, bloodthirsty as any other drug cartel.
Daniel Best went from Pfizer to working for CVS where he spent 12 years trying to reduce pharmaceutical costs for senior citizens before he did any work with the government. He was advising Alex Azar in ways to save both the government and citizens money on overpriced medications that are much cheaper in other countries.
In May, Stat News spoke with an insurance lobbyist who revealed concerns related to Best's drug pricing reform crusade:
<blockquote>Conversations with pharmaceutical executives and former co-workers reveal that Best is a seasoned negotiator, a tough and unwavering advocate for patient access, and an all-around friendly guy. But one thing remains a mystery: 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.”</blockquote>
The lobbyist's admission that, "You can only shake up so much," has a bit more of an ominous ring after the fact. The dearth of coverage and the fact that <a href="https://www.theepochtimes.com/trumps-drug-pricing-czar-found-with-multiple-blunt-force-injuries-ruled-suicide_2718723.html">Epoch Times is one of the few publications to have even brought up some of the reasons</a> Best posed such a threat to the pharma industry is also troubling. Best had promised to save $50 billion for the government in Medicare spending alone by tracing what other countries are paying for the same drugs.
Best was "unresponsive" when he was found near the garage door exit of an apartment building November 1 and was pronounced dead at the scene. Not much detail has been shared regarding what type of "multiple blunt force injuries" are described in the police report. The death occurred just a week after President Trump had announced a drug pricing initiative that would make prescription drugs cheaper. Just two days earlier HHS had published an article at their website
It is certainly possible that there is some perfectly logical, yet unreported clue that makes sense of the whole affair. I'm personally planning on
Generally to commit suicide and die from blunt force you'd have to jump from a great height or jump in front of a car or a train. Despite the lack of any reports that Best was depressed or suicidal, I suppose you could make the argument that attempting to face off against an industry so entrenched and powerful could be considered suicidal and, judging from the multiple injuries, possibly just as lethal.