GM recall, texting ban? & cholesterol money

February 14, 2008 3:45:51 PM PST
A recall for thousands of General Motors vehicles and a local lawmaker's plan to ban drivers from texting; plus you could be getting some money back if you take drugs to control your cholesterol.

Caremark is one of the nation's largest pharmacy benefits management companies. It enters into contracts with employers to process prescription drug claims for patients. And it must now pay out 41-million-dollars to settle claims of deceptive practices.

Caremark has reached a settlement with Attorneys General from 29 states including Pennsylvania. The lawsuit alleged Caremark encouraged doctors to switch patients to different brand name prescription drugs claiming doing so would save patients money. The lawsuit alleged Caremark actually kept the rebates and discounts for itself.

As part of the settlement, Caremark must change its business practices; pay 38.5-million dollars to the states and up to 2.5-million dollars to patients who incurred expenses related to certain switches between cholesterol-controlling drugs.

A Delaware lawmaker wants to ban drivers from sending emails or text or photo messages from cell phones. The proposed law by Republican state representative Deborah Hudson would fine violators 25-dollars but it would not allow police to pull them over solely for texting.

Two states, New Jersey and Washington, and the city of Phoenix, Arizona have enacted a similar ban.

General Motors is recalled more than 181-thousand Chevrolet HHR wagons. GM found some of the vehicles do not meet government standards for protecting occupants from head injury during a crash. The company said HHR's not equipped with option roof rail-mounted airbags and sold between 2006 and 2008 failed the company's own side-impact tests.

In a letter to GM dealers, the automaker said dealers would need to install a piece of energy absorbing plastic to the headliner trim.

GM said the recall will begin in late March, when the parts become available. The company will send out notification letters to customers.

You can call GM at 1-800-630-2438 for information.

Also some religious charm bracelets are being recalled because of excessive lead content. Go to the Consumer Product Safety Commission for more information.