Alternative medicines including homeopathy and acupuncture have come under heavy criticism from a medical expert.
Writing for the British Medical Journal, Professor David Colquhoun from University College London said that the resurgence of these treatments, particularly the use of them by the NHS, is an "embarrassment".
Professor Colquhoun argued against recent recommendations for the regulation of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine and said "you cannot start to think about a sensible form of regulation unless you first decide whether or not the thing you are trying to regulate is nonsense".
Health minister Michael O'Brien was criticised for his part in providing homeopathy on the NHS.
Professor Colquhoun claimed Mr O'Brien admitted "that there was no good evidence that homeopathy worked by defended the idea that the taxpayer should pay for it anyway".
The NHS currently spends around £10 million on homeopathy, a treatment which involves administering heavily diluted solutions to patients.
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