"The structure of those pills, I had studied. I had talked to (drug manufacturer Purdue Pharma) myself," he said.
Derakhshan said Purdue confirmed his belief that cutting the pills in half would not harm patients.
However, Oxycontin's current instructions advise patients should not "crush, chew, or break an extended-release OxyContin tablet. Swallow it whole."
According to a study by the nonprofit investigative journalism website ProPublica, Derakhshan was the state's top prescriber of hydrocodone-acetaminophen in 2010 among Medicare Part D patients.
He wrote 4,032 hydrocodone prescriptions to Medicare recipients that year, according to ProPublica. Of his 609 Medicare patients, 94 percent received a prescription for a narcotic in 2010.
Derakhshan said he prescribes hydrocodone to treat headache patients. He said the bulk of his patients suffer either from migraines or seizure.
"The practice of medicine is paralyzed without use of narcotics. I personally believe that opium is truly a blessing, but there's a prohibition," he said.
He said the medical community has demonized prescription pain medications.
"By making doctors scared, they are depriving patients from access to pain medicine," he said.
Hydrocodone-acetaminophen is better known by its various brand names: Lortab, Lorcet, Dolorex and Vicodin. According to a recent study by the Journal of the American Medical Association, hydrocodone overdoses killed more than 16,600 people throughout the United States in 2010.
Other Top HeadlinesSummit Bechtel Reserve holds open house