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Economic analysis of acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis

Authors Pokladnikova J, Maresova P, Dolejs J, Park AL, Wang B, Guan X, Musil F

Received 21 May 2018

Accepted for publication 15 June 2018

Published 12 November 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 3053—3061


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Jitka Pokladnikova,1,2 Petra Maresova,3 Josef Dolejs,3 A-La Park,4 Bo Wang,5 Xin Guan,Frantisek Musil1

1Czech-Chinese Centre for Traditional Chinese Medicine, University Hospital in Hradec Kralove, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic; 2Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Kralove, Charles University, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic; 3Faculty of Informatics and Management, University of Hradec Kralove, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic; 4Personal Social Services Research Unit, Department of Health Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK; 5Shuguang Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China

Acupuncture has become a viable option for migraine prophylaxis in Europe; however, despite its wide use, more data on the short- and long-term cost-effectiveness are needed when considering the perspectives of a paying third-party, the patient, and of society in general. The aim was to evaluate the cost and effectiveness of adjuvant acupuncture to pharmacologic treatment vs pharmacologic treatment alone in migraine patients after a 3-month acupuncture course and a 6-month follow-up from all perspectives.
Methods: The study involved an open-label randomized clinical trial of patients receiving acupuncture (n=42), and a waiting list control group (n=44). The number of migraine days during the last 28 days, as well as direct and indirect costs were considered. The trial was registered under DRKS00009803.
Results: The total cost per patient reached €696 vs €285 after 3 months of acupuncture and €66 vs €132 in the acupuncture and control groups after a 6-month follow-up, respectively (P=0.071). The trends observed in effectiveness and costs from all perspectives are discussed.
Conclusion: The inclusion of acupuncture in health care results beneficial mainly for its observed trend in reduced losses of productivity and income, with the latter often exceeding the costs of acupuncture treatment. As such, acupuncture may be recommended as an adjuvant treatment in migraine prophylaxis to standard pharmacotherapy.

acupuncture, cost, effectiveness, migraine, prophylaxis, Traditional Chinese Medicine

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