Veteran Health Care Advocate Will Lead Federal and State Advocacy For Generic and Biosimilar Industry Group
WASHINGTON DC (May 24, 2021) – The Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM) today announced that Erik Komendant has been named Senior Vice President, Government Affairs effective immediately. He will be responsible for the vision, strategic planning, and implementation of AAM’s federal and state advocacy agenda. He previously served as Vice President of Federal Government Affairs for the association.
Dan Leonard, president and CEO of AAM stated, “As the nation steadily recovers from health and economic crises, the need for patient access to effective, affordable generic and biosimilar medicines has never been more important.” Leonard continued, “In his role as vice president of federal government affairs over the last four years, Erik established a track record for building consensus on difficult issues, leading to landmark bipartisan policy victories for our industry. There is more consequential legislation pending in Congress and state houses – AAM is tracking 1,400 separate bills around the country – than ever that could impact patient access to generic and biosimilar medicines. I am confident that Erik’s creativity, intellect, and effective leadership will deliver positive outcomes for the industry and result in sustainable access to more affordable generic and biosimilar medicines for America’s patients.”
Since joining AAM in 2017, Erik has been an integral part of a team delivering tangible, meaningful outcomes for patients. In 2019, the President signed into law the CREATES Act removing barriers to generic drug development. In 2020, Congress approved the USMCA trade agreement with balanced intellectual property provisions and policies favorable to the burgeoning biosimilar industry. Erik’s ability to coalesce and mobilize stakeholder groups in support of these legislative goals has become the template for AAM’s advocacy efforts. Most recently, he and the government affairs team have been driving the conversation on how the U.S. can enhance the security of the pharmaceutical supply chain, invest in more domestic manufacturing of essential medicines and prepare the country for future pandemics.
Before joining AAM, Erik served as interim head of Public Affairs and co-led the Federal Government Affairs department for America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) where he positioned the health insurance industry for success throughout implementation of the ACA. He was recognized as a “Top Association Lobbyist” in 2015 by The Hill newspaper. Prior to his role at AHIP, Mr. Komendant served on Capitol Hill for more than seven years including time as the first Policy Director for the moderate Blue Dog Coalition.
Erik is a graduate of the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University and the University of Pennsylvania.
AAM is driven by the belief that access to safe, quality, effective medicine has a tremendous impact on a person’s life and the world around them. Generic and biosimilar medicines improve people’s lives, improving society and the economy in turn. AAM represents the manufacturers and distributors of finished generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars, manufacturers and distributors of bulk pharmaceutical chemicals, and suppliers of other goods and services to the generic industry. Generic pharmaceuticals are 90 percent of prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. but only 20 percent of total drug spending.
About the Biosimilars Council
The Biosimilars Council, a division of the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM), works to ensure a positive environment for patient access to biosimilar medicines. The Biosimilars Council is a leading source for information about the safety and efficacy of more affordable alternatives to costly brand biologic medicines. Areas of focus include public and health expert education, strategic partnerships, government affairs, legal affairs and regulatory policy. More information is available at www.biosimilarscouncil.org.