ELITE 2022 Disrupter Betty Royster of ViiV Healthcare

Betty Royster

Marketing Manager, APRETUDE

ViiV Healthcare

Shifting the HIV Prevention Landscape

Betty Royster’s conviction to the success of APRETUDE, the first and only long-acting injectable for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), helped permanently shift the HIV prevention landscape.

For roughly a decade, oral PrEP was the sole modality for PrEP available to men and transgender women at risk of sexually acquiring HIV-1. Despite being on the market for 10 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that a majority of Americans appropriate for PrEP are not receiving prescriptions for it. Betty identified this gap in HIV PrEP options as an urgent concern because PrEP is widely recognized as a crucial step in addressing the HIV epidemic.

To underscore that oral PrEP may not be the right choice for all populations appropriate for PrEP, Betty gathered insights from a range of market access and HIV experts to develop a communications campaign that emphasized the clinical, economic, and holistic significance of this new PrEP option. She led her team to produce an unbranded payer education campaign, pre-approval information exchange communications, and a payer value proposition to convey the unprecedented value of this product. Betty’s strategy to inform payers about unmet needs in HIV prevention and influence coverage decisions for APRETUDE was fueled by her passion to help to end the HIV epidemic by reaching underserved populations that have not been reached before with PrEP.

Betty defied the status quo by leading uncomfortable conversations about gaps in HIV prevention to ultimately champion for populations most affected by the HIV epidemic. Patient- centered narratives have typically fallen short in managed market communications because payers rely on population-level insights to drive coverage decisions. Betty committed to breaking the norm by emphasizing that an individual susceptible to HIV should have access to more than one type of PrEP option. Betty elevated the meaning of “disruption” by leading as an ally who upsets convention with compassion and intention. In only months, Betty established a new precedent in the advancement of the HIV prevention market.


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