Consumer Confidential

Consumer Confidential With David Lazarus
How a $500 UCLA hospital copay turned into a $3,900 bill — for 1 injection

Nobody wants to get sick. But if you do get sick, what you really don't want is an illness that requires a so-called specialty drug.

These are the high-priced drugs you've seen in the news lately, such as the hepatitis C drug Sovaldi. It costs an eye-popping $1,000 a pill.

Or the tuberculosis drug cycloserine, which had cost about $500 for 30 capsules.

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The big switch to chip-enabled credit cards: What you need to know

I'm getting lots of questions about Thursday's big change in how credit and debit cards are processed. Here's the skinny.

First, it's not like the entire system is changing overnight. The plastic industry is in an ongoing switch from cards with magnetic strips on the back to cards with embedded microchips.

The chip-enabled cards, common in Europe and Asia, are more secure.

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Duped VW owners wonder what their next move should be

Paul Mason works for Pacific Forest Trust, a San Francisco nonprofit group focusing on environmental protection. He is, by his own admission, a tree-hugging kind of guy.

That's why Mason purchased a Volkswagen Golf TDI five years ago. He liked the idea that he'd be driving what VW touted as a "clean diesel" car, one that delivered more oomph than a Prius hybrid while keeping pollutants in check.

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California now allows firms to tell consumers a 'made in USA' lie

California long required that any manufacturer wanting to say that a product is made in America must, in fact, have a product that's made in America.

A new state law changes that — and makes it practically impossible for consumers to know whether a made-in-America product contains foreign parts.


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What is fair pay for a chief executive?

Merilee says she's been looking at the compensation packages of chief executives of the charities she donates to. They're all over the map.

This got her wondering: "What is considered 'fair' compensation for a CEO?"

It's a question many people are asking in this era of income inequality.

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Airlines' privacy policies do little to protect consumers' personal data

If someone says "sharing economy," you probably think Uber or Airbnb. You should think instead about your privacy.

Do something online and your personal information will be shared with other businesses itching to spam you with marketing pitches. It's a practice common to almost all industries.

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