Vitamins replace prescriptions among the jobless


Here's something pretty terrifying: As people lose their jobs and their health insurance, they're foregoing doctors and prescription drugs in favor of over-the-counter vitamins.

"If I had a job with health insurance, I probably would have gone to see a doctor by now," Kerry Parham told the New York Times. "But instead, I'm here buying echinacea. I hope it works."

It's not that there's anything wrong with echinacea, as far as it goes: You'd just hope that people were opting for alternative medicine out of principle or experience instead of necessity. Vitamin stores are seeing double-digit increases in traffic while the clothing stores next to them at the mall are struggling to stay in business.