Sticking it to ACC
From Mark Hanna on Twitter, ACC expenditures on acupuncture (the sources are in the Twitter conversation)
The graph shows three things. Firstly, there was a review promised. Second, the expenditure on acupuncture is vastly different from the projections. Third, it’s getting to be a moderately large sum of money.
Comparing to the 2012 Pharmac report (PDF, p5), there were only seven prescription items where Pharmac spends more per year than the $17 million ACC spent on acupuncture that year (and one about the same). Things like diabetes test strips and the breast-cancer drug Herceptin.
I’m not as opposed as Mark to spending taxpayer money on the placebo effect, but at some point you have to wonder whether there might be more cost-effective ways to get it.
Thomas Lumley (@tslumley) is Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Auckland. His research interests include semiparametric models, survey sampling, statistical computing, foundations of statistics, and whatever methodological problems his medical collaborators come up with. He also blogs at Biased and Inefficient See all posts by Thomas Lumley »