Acupuncture is Cost-Effective for Chronic Pain

Acupuncture in Exeter: cost-effectiveness of acupuncture for chronic pain conditions.
Most research compiled here, concerns the clinical efficacy of acupuncture, so here I have included an economic assessment for a change. UK researchers have undertaken a systematic review of the cost-effectiveness of acupuncture for chronic pain. They looked among other things at eight economic evaluations and one cost-effectiveness analysis, covering the treatment of lower back pain, neck pain, period pain, migraines, arthritis and headaches.

Correlations were uncovered between the clinical benefits of acupuncture and medical cost savings. The UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, is normally willing to pay for treatments shown to cost up to £20 000 to £30 000 per quality life adjusted year gained; the figures for acupuncture were shown to range from only £2 500 to £15 000. Given policy-makers’ needs to base treatment access on economic as well as clinical factors, the researchers were able to conclude that acupuncture appears to be a cost-effective intervention for some chronic pain conditions.

(Costs and Consequences of Acupuncture as a Treatment for Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review of Economic Evaluations Conducted Alongside Randomised Controlled Trials. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, October 2012.)