The problem with these scientific studies is that many of them are not being designed properly to match how the medicine works. Science is FABULOUS for pulling things apart to understand how every little cog works. However, Chinese medicine is about the whole machine. You can't remove one piece and study it alone.
In many studies I see have a conclusion that sounds something like this: "Acupuncture shown to be ineffective for treating X, Y or Z." Then, when I read farther into the study, it's because they used a single acupuncture point in all of their study participants. I always have to giggle at this. Acupuncture is not a system where all people with X biomedical disease end up having the same Chinese medical diagnosis. For example, knee pain isn't just knee pain. It could be due to Kidney Qi Deficiency, Kidney Yang Deficiency, Kidney Yin Deficiency, Cold Bi Syndrome, Hot Bi Syndrome, Qi and Blood Stagnation among the basic few. What one needle may work great for Kidney Qi Deficiency knee pain may actually exacerbate knee pain due to Qi and Blood Stagnation! So of course, when all of these patients with knee pain are grouped together and treated like they have the same disease, the researchers get poor/mixed results! Not to mention that most styles of acupuncture do not use a single-needle approach (there is a Japanese style in which a single needle is used - the PERFECT needle for that patient on that day at that moment).
I'm not saying get rid of the science. We need the science in order to validate our medicine in this society. We need the science to validate our medicine so that insurance companies will be willing to cover services that could greatly benefit a huge number of Americans suffering from debilitating disease processes. But what we need most of all is studies that are designed with the idea of how Chinese medicine works in mind, otherwise we're just wasting time and money on studies that aren't actually testing the medicine as it is used.
Researchers out there who may stumble upon this blog (okay, so I may be dreaming big here ;) ), please make sure you have an acupuncturist help you design your study. And I'm not talking about a biomedical doctor who has gone through "medical acupuncture" training, because that's not the same thing as an acupuncturist. An acupuncturist will be able to help point out when you're missing an aspect of how Chinese medicine works so that you can get the most true-to-life results possible!
Lastly, I want to point out that if/when a drug is shown to be ineffective, it isn't concluded that pharmacology, as a whole, doesn't work. Why, then, do we say that acupuncture, as a whole, doesn't work, when one point is found to be ineffective for a single diagnosis?