WILMINGTON — A former Wilmington resident will be portrayed in an upcoming mini-series.

Randy Ramseyer — who currently resides and works in Abingdon, Virginia — served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for John Brownlee, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia, during a high-profile case against Purdue Pharma in 2007.

The pharmaceutical company was convicted of illegally misbranding their pain medication OxyContin, a Schedule II prescription pain relief medication.

The case was a part of the bestselling book “Dopesick” by Beth Macy, which is set to be adapted to mini-series on the online streaming service Hulu.

According to imdb.com, the mini-series is about a school doctor who “finds himself embroiled in a sinister corporate scheme that perpetuates America’s opioid addiction crisis.”

John Hoogenakker is set to portray Ramseyer, with Jake McDorman as Brownlee. The series will also feature Oscar nominee Michael Keaton, Peter Sarsgaard, and Phillipa Soo.

Before working in the U.S. Attorney’s office, Ramseyer worked as a law clerk for Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Hiram Emery Widener Jr.

“(The Purdue case) took several years to put together,” said Ramseyer. “There were a lot of challenges and interesting things about it.”

Ramseyer told the News Journal he thought it was unusual to have several top officials of a pharmaceutical industry — Chief Executive Officer, Chief Medical Officer, and General Counselor — make guilty pleas to misdemeanor offenses.

“In terms of money, it was the biggest case I had been involved with up until that point,” said Ramseyer.

The company and executives had to pay over $635 million in fines. The executives were also placed on three years of probation and ordered to perform 400 hours of community service.

Since that case, Ramseyer has had multiple cases involving pharmaceutical companies. This includes one in 2012 where Abbott Laboratories was fined over $1 billion for misbranding the drug Depakote.

Ramseyer hasn’t read Macy’s book, but said he’s looking forward to seeing the series.

“It’s surreal seeing that some actor is going to be portraying you. It’s interesting,” he said, never thinking he’d see a news story about someone being cast as him.

The series is slated to be released in 2021 on Hulu.


By John Hamilton

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Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574