Patient Advocacy

Genentech’s first step into the patient advocacy space was in 1994, when we played a pivotal role in helping women with HER2-positive breast cancer get the treatment they needed. More than 25 years later, Genentech continues to lead the industry in engaging with patient communities to better serve our patients and help improve health outcomes. Our commitment to fostering sustainable relationships with advocacy organizations, patients, and their care partners helps Genentech support the patients we serve holistically. We're more than just the medicine.

We partner with national and local advocacy groups across the health care landscape to identify, gain consensus and drive action on critical patient needs and key policy and legislative issues to ensure that patients will have access to important medical breakthroughs. These partnerships include working with organizations that focus on advancing health equity so that we improve outcomes for all patients, including those most underserved.

Patient Perspective

Science can reveal much about an illness, but it can’t tell us how people actually experience their disease. More and more, patients have become experts in their disease and treatment options as well as advocates for their own health, managing critical decisions and choices. They are looking to manufacturers to learn more about scientific advancements, disease education, and patient support programs.

At Genentech, we value the patient perspective and believe the patient voice must be heard – and integrated – as we develop and commercialize our medicines. We look to our patient communities for valuable insights and to help us deepen our understanding of their day-to-day realities, their medical care, and what they desire from a new therapy.

In 2021, PatientView ranked Genentech #2 among the top 13 "big-pharma" companies in overall corporate reputation in the U.S. We were ranked #1 in transparency in clinical trial data and ranked #2 in multiple categories including patient engagement in R&D, quality of relationships with patient groups, high-quality products, and integrity. These rankings are based on the opinions of hundreds of patient groups.

Learn more about resources provided by Genentech to help patients and caregivers along their health care journey.

Sister Pact

Sister Pact is a campaign and website created to encourage women to get regular breast cancer screenings and direct them to national resources for access to free or low-cost mammograms, transportation options and financial assistance.

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Gather MS

GatherMS is a website brought to the multiple sclerosis (MS) community by Genentech that brings together existing resources to help people with MS navigate the everyday unpredictability of the disease.

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SMA My Way

SMA My Way is a website created in collaboration with members of the spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) community that focuses on supporting all people impacted by SMA and helps them live their lives, their way.

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Advocacy Partners

Patient advocacy organizations allow us to live our principle of always putting patients first. They play a vital role in helping people with serious diseases navigate the challenges they face and find a sense of community. They provide manufacturers a window into patients’ experiences so that we better understand their perspectives and needs as we strive to make an impact beyond our medicines by uncovering and pursuing ways to bring potential new treatments to patients.

Today, Genentech has relationships with more than 500 patient advocacy organizations across 50 disease areas. We work with organizations on public policy, public relations, disease awareness, and collaborations that advance patient communities’ and Genentech’s goals. We are committed to transforming society through meaningful partnerships in our communities that focus on advancing inclusive research and health equity in underserved patient communities.

  • >500 relationships with patient advocacy organizations
  • 50 disease areas included in our advocacy efforts

Engage Early and Often

We collaborate with patients, thought leaders, advocacy organizations and other experts early and often throughout the life-cycle of our medicines, from early development onward. In recent years, Genentech has focused on expanding partnerships with organizations that specifically support underserved patient communities.

These critical discussions enable us to gather valuable insights into an array of topics ranging from how to design clinical trials to access and supply challenges. The rich exchange of shared information has helped us design more patient-friendly protocols and recruit participants in studies. Insights gained from our advocacy partners have enabled us to communicate in ways that reach patients of all cultural backgrounds and to explore ways to increase diversity and minority representation in clinical research by prioritizing health equity in clinical trials.

We’re committed to increasing relationships and engagements across the patient community ecosystem. Throughout the years, we host scientific briefings for advocacy partners, direct-to-community education events for disease areas such as neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), and conduct round-table discussions across multiple therapeutic areas to gain insight into key partnerships and initiatives where Genentech can lead or support.


Genentech strives to improve the health and wellbeing of all patients, and to create a future of science that is more diverse, inclusive and equitable. Our giving reflects this vision, and supports schools, community-based organizations, patient groups, and scientific and medical communities to help uncover and deliver solutions that ensure a healthier future for everyone. We’re addressing systemic inequities in our society through partnerships with a wide range of organizations that focus on the issues facing our communities.

We make philanthropic donations to advocacy groups and other community non-profit organizations to support the critical services they provide, such as peer-to-peer connection programs, professional counseling, and disease awareness and education. Each year we support hundreds of patient-focused programs and services across the U.S. in more than 50 disease areas.

When COVID-19 stressed the patient community in unprecedented ways, we sought to understand their needs, and be a partner in addressing the challenges created by the crisis. We responded with urgency and action, funding $21 million in emergency COVID-19 grants to help support essential patient services provided by our advocacy partners. We also provided real-time policy updates to hundreds of our advocacy partners around the CARES ACT (The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act).

Learn more about how Genentech is committed to leveraging charitable giving to uncover and address the root causes of disparities in health care and education, and working to drive change.

“Genentech is committed to building and strengthening relationships across our patient communities to push boundaries to put patients first. We believe in going ‘beyond the medicine’ to support patient communities.”

Sonali Chopra, Head of Patient Advocacy, Genentech, A Member of the Roche Group

Our Commitment

We are committed to investing and participating in vital public health issues, and as a prominent leader in oncology, Genentech partnered with the American Cancer Society on the Return to Screening initiative at the beginning of 2021. This is a nationwide, multi-sector collaboration to promote resuming cancer screening, which has been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Millions of people have missed their routine cancer screenings, resulting in a significant decline in cancer diagnoses and timely intervention. 

The initiative also reflects our broader commitment to support the development of interventions to advance health equity. Health care disparities are multifaceted and require us to examine and address disparities throughout the healthcare ecosystem. These include access to and quality of care, availability of social support for patients, and unequal treatment or lack of cultural competence in care.


After a very uncertain year for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological disorders, we kicked off a broad #MSVisibility movement in March 2021 to shine a light on the diversity, strength and tenacity of the MS community and to encourage people with MS, and potentially those who may not yet be diagnosed, to seek appropriate care during the pandemic. 

With support from major MS advocacy groups – including The National MS Society, Race to Erase MS, Can Do MS, Multiple Sclerosis Foundation and Multiple Sclerosis Association of America – our goal is to not only increase the visibility of available resources, but also to highlight the importance of inclusive MS research.


Genentech is committed to collaborating with advocacy groups, foundations and scientific organizations like Cure SMA and the Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation, and to connecting with affected families, supporting and participating in scientific research essential to find new treatments options. 

Our relationships have yielded insights and tools that simply wouldn’t exist without support from patients and advocacy groups. For example, while early spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) research focused mainly on pediatric patients – partly because SMA is the leading genetic cause of death in infants and toddlers – patients helped us learn about the different types of SMA, and we were inspired to include a broad range of people living with SMA, including adults, in our clinical trial program. With help from patients involved with Cure SMA, we also developed a novel measurement scale — a system for quantifying changes in an SMA patient’s motor skills and their impact on daily life.


Learn more about Genentech’s efforts to foster advocacy partnerships, address health disparities and advance solutions to improve patients’ access to life-changing medicines.