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FDA Upgrades Status of Acupuncture Needles

March 30, 1996|Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration on Friday classified acupuncture needles as medical devices for "general use" by trained professionals.

The agency did not go so far as to state that acupuncture is effective for any particular condition. But by designating instruments of acupuncture in the same category with such standard medical tools as scalpels and syringes, the FDA removed a major barrier to insurance coverage for the treatment.

More than two dozen states and the District of Columbia have legalized acupuncture, in which practitioners insert flexible needles into the skin at specific points, then twist them to enhance the flow of a hypothetical "energy" in the body.

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