Attorneys general push for tamper-resistant generic painkillers

"These products can be part of a comprehensive approach which should include prevention, interdiction, prosecution and substance-abuse treatment," the attorneys general wrote.

Studies have found that reformulating drugs like oxycodone discourages abuse by making it much more difficult.

Hitting an abuse-resistant oxycodone pill might flatten it, but it won't turn the pill into a powder, one expert told the American Medical News this year.

"If you really want to abuse these drugs, you can, but it may be time-consuming, quite inconvenient and you may lose a lot of that active ingredient," said Simon H. Budman, CEO of Inflexxion, a pharmaceutical risk-management company.

In January, the FDA issued draft guidance to assist the pharmaceutical industry in developing abuse-deterrent painkillers.