NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)– A New York law to curb prescription drug abuse goes into effect Sunday.

WCBS 880’s Stephanie Colombini talked to a local doctor to learn more about what patients and physicians can expect.

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The mandate is part of New York’s ISTOP Law. It requires doctors to check an online database before prescribing controlled substances. The idea is to prevent what’s known as “doctor shopping,” where patients see multiple physicians to obtain the same drug. Now doctors will also be required to write all of their prescriptions electronically.

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CBS News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook said mandating e-prescriptions is long overdue.

“In the past doctors would write a prescription on a pad and there was no way of easily keeping track of everything. Now it’s in a computer. I can go back and search my database and say, ‘Who’s taking X medication?'” he said.

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Doctors have had over a year to prepare for the change. But the State Department of Health has a waiver application for those who need more time.