ELITE 2022 Strategist Cheryl Gay of Genentech

Cheryl Gay

Marketing Director, Access Lead, Neurological Rare Disease and Autism


Expanding Coverage for Rare Disease Treatments

Cheryl Gay’s passion for the rare disease community has been regularly demonstrated by her bravery in the face of challenges for products with small patient populations, which unfortunately are often low on the priority list for payers. From her time working in Huntington’s Disease to now managing the indication expansion for Evrysdi (risdiplam) with managed care customers, one that will help infants with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), she has always been open to new and innovative ideas.

For example, when first joining the Evrysdi team, she initiated an ad board with physical therapists, and because she surmised that reauthorization certification was going to be an issue for patients, she proactively made sure to ask those ad board attendees about it and used those insights to further an effort to help HCPs and patients with recertification. And, more recently, she’s used online surveys and individual in-depth interviews to get the critical customer insights needed to inform a successful label expansion launch.

Cheryl is also an expert problem solver. This is clear from the way she championed the development of digitally available pull-through communications for plans with varying reauthorization requirements for Evrysdi to ultimately help improve patients’ treatment experience. She not only thought through the communication she wanted to deliver, but also orchestrated steps so that she could work efficiently with her internal colleagues to deploy these messages as quickly as possible in order to help improve provider coverage confidence.

She also pioneered a partnership between Genentech and the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) on a unique education opportunity to help patients get the SMA medication they need at a cost they can afford. This kind of partnership was a first for Genentech, and could prove to be a precedent-setting engagement that can help more patients access therapies sooner. Because, above all else, the thing that makes Cheryl a strong strategist is that she’s not afraid to push boundaries as long as it helps patients receive coverage and access to therapies.


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