NY Times
My insurance plan requires me to fill certain prescriptions by mail order. But I have always preferred to obtain medications from my neighborhood pharmacy in the New York suburbs, even though it means paying for them out of my own pocket.

For me, the expense has been worth it, because I like having a pharmacist who knows every pill I am swallowing and why, and who does many kind and helpful things the mail order companies don’t. A few times, in a pinch, he gave me a couple of tablets while waiting for a doctor to call in or mail a prescription. Once he gave me prescription-strength, rather than over-the-counter, cortisone cream for killer poison ivy on a weekend when I couldn’t find a dermatologist and was an itchy, weeping mess.

He has conferred with my doctors on many occasions when they had doubts that a generic was, indeed, an exact equivalent of a branded drug. Sometimes he assures them the generic is just fine; other times he warns that the additives are different and could explain an undesirable reaction. The doctors, clearly not know-it-alls, prescribe accordingly.

Read more by going to "Leaving Your Hometown Pharmacist"