AAM makes 2 key appointments

Erik Komendant will assume the role of the Association for Accessible Medicines’ senior vice president of government affairs and Steven Selde will serve as director of the Biosimilars Council.
Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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The Association for Accessible Medicines has made two new executive appointments.

Erik Komendant was named senior vice president of 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.

“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,” said Dan Leonard, president and CEO of AAM said. “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, Komendant 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, Komendant served as interim head of public affairs and co-led the federal government affairs department for America’s Health Insurance Plans, 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, Komendant served on Capitol Hill for more than seven years including time as the first policy director for the moderate Blue Dog Coalition.

Komendant is a graduate of the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University and the University of Pennsylvania.

AAM is welcoming Steven Selde as director of the Biosimilars Council. This division of AAM educates the public and patients about the safety and effectiveness of biosimilars, focusing on access, the regulatory environment, reimbursement and legal affairs. Member organizations include manufacturers and stakeholders working to develop biosimilar products for the U.S. market.

As director, Selde will work with leadership to identify issues affecting Biosimilars Council members’ interests and develop and implement advocacy strategies and tactics that effectively support those interests.

Prior to joining AAM, Selde was assistant director, government affairs, for the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association. In this role he represented ambulatory surgery centers before Congress and federal agencies. Prior to his work with ASCA, he served as legislative counsel for Senator Deb Fischer, R- Neb., where he was responsible for developing and progressing the senator’s policy positions on health care, education, labor, Veterans Affairs and Indian Affairs. He developed and executed strategies to enact Senator Fischer’s legislation, including the Communities Helping Invest through Property and Improvements Needed for Veterans Act (H.R.5099/S.3364), Strong Families Act (S.1716) and Veterans Fair Debt Notice Act (S.2248), all signed into law.

Selde attended Creighton University School of Law and received his BA from Fordham University.