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Cost-Effectiveness of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is cost-effective, clinically effective and widely used in a variety of health care settings. Because it has been rated at the highest level of effectiveness in the treatment of many diseases, based on studies of clinical effectiveness and cost savings, the British and German healthcare systems now cover payment for acupuncture. According to a study in Washington State, costs actually decreased for acupuncture and complementary medicine users due to a reduction in more expensive conventional care.

Savings Per Patient with Acupuncture Treatment
  • Post Stroke Rehabilitation $26,000
    Johansson, K. et al (1994) Neurology 43:2189-2192
  • Migraine $35,480
    “Reduction in Work Days Missed Due to Migraine” – Liguori, A. et al (2000)
  • Angina Pectoris $32,000
    Reduction of hospitalization by 90% and a 70% reduction in surgery –Altern, J. Complement Med 5:405-413
  • Severe Osteoarthritis $9,000
    Compared to arthoplasty surgery, “Acupuncture in the Treatment of Severe Osteoarthritis: a long term study”
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome $4,246
    Laser acupuncture treatments vs. medically treated without surgery

Economic Evaluation in Acupuncture: Past and Future

Acupuncture’s Place in U.S. Health Care
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) defines complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as “a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered to be part of conventional medicine.” read more

Comparison of Pharmacological Treatment Versus Acupuncture Treatment for Migraine without Aura-Analysis of Socio-Medical Parameters
(Liguori A, Petti F, Bangrazi A, Camaioni D, Guccione G, Pitari GM, Bianchi A, Nicoletti WE.)
This study was carried out in 120 patients affected by migraine without aura, treated in 4 public health centers and randomly divided into acupuncture group (AG) and conventional drug therapy group (CDTG). The evaluation of clinical results was made 6 and 12 months after the beginning of treatment and was worked out as well according to socio-medical parameters. read more

Cost-Effectiveness of Acupuncture Treatment in Patients with Headache
(Witt CM, Reinhold T, Jena S, Brinkhaus B, Willich SN.)
The aim was to assess costs and cost-effectiveness of additional acupuncture treatment in patients with headache compared with patients receiving routine care alone. A randomized, controlled trial was conducted, including patients (> or =18 years old) with primary headache (more than 12 months, at least two headaches/month). read more

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of a Randomised Trial of Acupuncture for Chronic Headache in Primary Care
(Wonderling D, Vickers AJ, Grieve R, McCarney R.)
401 patients with chronic headache, predominantly migraine. Interventions Patients were randomly allocated to receive up to 12 acupuncture treatments over three months from appropriately trained physiotherapists, or to usual care alone. read more

Articles About the Cost Effectiveness of Acupuncture Treatments:
Direct Health Care Expenditures Among Individuals with Back Pain in the United States by Luo X, Pietrobon, Sun SX, Liu GG, Hey L.
Spine. 2004 Jan 1:29(1):79-85

Comparison of Health Care Expenditures Among Insured Users and Nonusers of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Washington State: A Cost Minimization Analysis by Lind BK, Lafferty WE, Tyree PT, Diehr PK.
Journal of Complementary Medicine. 2010 Apr; 16(4): 411-417.

The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A Comparative Literature Review by John McDonald and Stephen Janz, commissioned by the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd, January 2017, revised ed.
The Acupuncture Evidence Project (pg. 51) Table 7. Conditions reported in this review with evidence of cost-effectiveness