PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – No matter how you slice it, as we head to the final week of 2010 it is obvious that our economy is not doing all that well and people are feeling the pinch. My concern, of course, is how does this affect people’s health?

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 35% of people relied on a home remedy or over-the-counter medication instead of going to the doctor in the last 12 months. Perhaps more disturbing is the fact that one out of five, that’s 20%, who went to the doctor and were given a prescription didn’t get the medicine filled. Fifteen percent more skipped doses or cut pills in half.

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These are crucial issues because it is preventive care and early action that lead to avoidance of serious issues. It is very important that you continue to get the care you need. I am aware there are other priorities and dollars are limited. Those of us in health care are well aware of the trying times that we are in.

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Talk with your doctor about options that are out there. In many cases there are cheaper options available and you won’t know if you do not ask.

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Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor