A new study finds a majority of acupuncture companies' websites are likely breaching of the Medicines Act by claiming their service can prevent or cure various diseases.
A research, undertaken by the Society for Science Base Healthcare, looked at acupuncture websites to see if they were in line with the Medicines Act. It found all 101 websites that were part of the study were likely in breach of the Act.
The part of the Act being breached was Section 58, which prohibited claiming the ability to prevent, mitigate or cure a range of serious diseases.
The study found 73 per cent of the websites claimed they could treat or prevent mental illness, infertility and arthritis, 11 per cent said they could treat or prevent cancer and 23 per cent for diabetes. A further 19 per cent claimed to help thrombosis sufferers and 14 per cent of websites said they could assist or prevent heart disease.
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The study published in the Medical Journal said these claims were made in spite of a "clear lack of evidence" for the efficacy of acupuncture.
"ACC's reviews of acupuncture since 2011 have found little or no evidence of effectiveness, other than some positive evidence for chronic neck and shoulder pain," it said.
The study also said at least 39 per cent of the sites reported on belonged to the NZASA registered acupuncturists. Another 33 per cent of websites of Acupuncture NZ registered acupuncturists appeared to be in breach of the act.
Acupuncturists who were eligible for ACC payments accounted for 96 per cent of the total.