But the attorneys general points out that "in our states, non-medical users are shifting away from the new tamper-resistant formulations to non-tamper-resistant formulations of other opioids as well as to illegal drugs. There is great concern in our law enforcement community that many non-tamper-resistant products are available for abuse when only a few products have been formulated with tamper-resistant features.
And so, they argue that the "development of tamper-resistant drugs provides an opportunity. Adding new physical and chemical features to prescription opioids to deter abuse could reduce misuse of these drugs and the sometimes deadly consequences." The letter, by the way, was formally sent by the National Association of Attorneys General (here is the letter).
Two months ago, the FDA issued a draft guidance that attempts to help drugmakers determine which studies should be conducted to develop medicines to thwart abuse and the labeling claims that the agency may approve. However, the agency is not requiring drugmakers to develop abuse-resistant painkillers, which are designed to prevent people from crushing and then snorting, but the FDA is trying to determine which approaches may succeed.
Recently, the FDA denied a citizen petition filed by Purdue Pharma, which sells OxyContin, that asked the agency to withhold approval of any generic version that lacked abuse-deterrent features (read here). As the FDA Law Blog notes, the agency did not comment, however, and Purdue filed an appeal for the agency to reconsider (see here). By thwarting generic versions of OxyContin that lack abuse-deterrant features, Purdue can build a larger market for its newer version, which includes such features.