A large randomised study carried out in Germany has found that acupuncture is a useful and cost-effective add-on treatment for asthma patients. Three hundred and six patients with allergic bronchial asthma were allocated to either acupuncture treatment or a wait-list control group. Both groups were free to use routine care treatment. Healthcare resource consumption, costs and health-related quality of life were evaluated at baseline, and after three and six months. Acupuncture patients incurred significantly higher costs compared with control patients, however acupuncture was associated with superior effectiveness in terms of quality-adjusted life years. Measures of the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio showed that despite the increased costs, acupuncture was a cost-effective add-on treatment for these patients. (Acupuncture in Patients Suffering from Allergic Asthma: Is It Worth Additional Costs? J Altern Complement Med. 2013 Nov 20. [Epub ahead of print]).

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