ELITE Launch Expert Bernadette Buntin of Shire

Bernadette Buntin

Head of Marketing, Blood Disorders, U.S. Hematology



Bringing Transformation to von Willebrand Disease

You may not have heard of von Willebrand disease (VWD) before reading this sentence, and yet it is the most common bleeding disorder. But because it is so difficult to diagnose and treat, it goes undertreated and under recognized, to the point that it has been classified as a rare disease. If reading that sentence makes VWD stick in your mind a little better, just wait until you get to the end of this page. You won’t be able to forget the name Bernadette Buntin.

Bernadette led Shire’s U.S. launch of VONVENDI [von Willebrand factor (Recombinant)] into market in July 2016. Despite being classified as a rare disease and having few treatment options, VWD was a disease with a standard of care that satisfied many physicians. But VONVENDI was the first recombinant factor designed exclusively to treat VWD. Bernadette needed to establish a strong argument for why recombinant VWF, and specifically VONVENDI, is a better treatment option than what’s currently offered. In addition, Bernadette was challenged to launch on an accelerated timeline. Through all of these challenges, Bernadette led her team to deliver a seamless and successful product launch with purpose.

Bernadette and her team determined that long-term success for VONVENDI required a deep commitment to raising awareness of the incidence and impact of VWD. They developed Beyond the Bleed, an unbranded disease state campaign that exposes the true impact of VWD and allows people with VWD to see that they are not alone, inspiring them to advocate for their care.

In concert, she and her team crafted a brand campaign demonstrating the superior benefits of VONVENDI. The effort would need to disrupt the complacency in the market—hematologists not viewing VWD as life threatening and often not prescribing von Willebrand factor treatment. When they do prescribe factor, they often turn to the plasma-derived factor that has been the standard in VWD. Bernadette and her team devised the VONVENDI In Your Corner campaign to highlight the brand as a steadfast partner for both patients and physicians as they live with and treat VWD. Since launch, VONVENDI momentum is growing in both treaters and patients.


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