Medicine is all about chasing symptoms. If a cure was found then the corporations making the medicine will lose money without life-long dependance. There is a pill for everything (I believe Chris Rock said it best) and as you said the side effects are usually worse than what someone has. Death is usually listed as a possible side effect in ad's or commercials. Followed by heart attacks, abdominal pain, loss of sight, blurred vision, and so on.
Unfortunately I don't think medication will be about cures until the all mighty dollar is no longer more important than peoples lives. Some steps have been taken to finding cures for diseases such as Cancer, Aids, and Alzheimer's which is wonderful. Hopefully that continues. It seems like the less life threatening illnesses people have are given the band-aid treatment than cured. Why not cure those?