Cancer has become a cash cow for drug companies. Over the past decade, the cost of lifesaving medications has soared to an average of $10,000 a month. Although pharmaceutical manufacturers maintain that such costs are needed to cover research and development, insurance companies, patients and doctors are outraged at the exorbitant price tag of many new oncology medicines. At more than $100,000 a year, drugs for conditions like chronic myeloid leukemia are out of reach for many patients and threaten to put insurance companies in the red. … Cancer isn’t the only condition where pharmaceutical companies are taking advantage of vulnerable patients. A new drug for hepatitis C called Sovaldi has raised eyebrows because of its $1,000-a-day price tag. Older drugs for this viral disease are less expensive, but come with serious side effects and must be taken much longer. Even so, they are less effective.