WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Prescription drug prices increased more than the rate of inflation according to a recent federal report. While the Inflation Reduction Act promises to impose penalties on certain medications from drug companies that raise rates more than inflation, consumers can turn to prescription alternatives to save costs.

Consumers could potentially save hundreds of dollars through discount prescription programs from drug companies, like Pfizer and Merck.

However, a recently launched drug company spearheaded by Mark Cuban, an entrepreneur from ‘Shark Tank’ fame on TV, promises hundreds of medications at significantly discounted prices.

While CostPlus does not accept insurance, the generic versions of medications offered could save people anywhere from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars.

For example, birth control medications are offered between $20 and $120 less than listed brand alternatives. For Dementia, CostPlus offers discounts between $75 and $350, as well as significantly lower prices for mental health medications.

The current offers come after the US Department of Health and Human Services published a September report indicating that prices for over 1,200 drug products increased more than the 8.5% inflation rate between last July and July this year.

“The average price increase for these drugs was 31.6 percent. Some drugs in 2022 increased by more than $20,000 or 500%,” the report said.

Several people told DC News Now Monday about the burden their families face by high prices for necessary medication. One woman said, “my mother spends at least $400 in copayments on her medication every month.”

A man said he spends roughly $365 monthly for medication, including opioid addiction treatment, nut noted his Medicare coverage only goes so far to assist his expenses.

Consumers should talk to medical professionals about what medications they take, and can ask if there are more affordable alternatives and programs to offer lower costs.