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01/03/2013

UK: Health experts urge Government to prioritise Minimum Unit Pricing in new strategy

1 March 2013.

Source: Institute of Alcohol Studies

More than 70 health organisations from across the UK have backed a new independent alcohol strategy calling for the UK Government to prioritise Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP), amongst a set of key policies aimed at curbing the nation's drink problem.

Published today by the University of Stirling, ‘Health First: An evidence-based alcohol strategy for the UK’ sets out a series of no-nonsense recommendations (see summary here) to tackle the harm caused by excess drinking across the UK, including a cross-border 50p minimum price per unit of alcohol sold.

The strategy was developed by a group of experts independent from government and the alcohol industry under the auspices of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK (AHA)

Sir Ian Gilmore, Chair of the AHA, said: “Governments across the UK have begun to take action to reduce the harm that alcohol can cause. This action is very welcome but needs to go further. In developing this strategy, we considered the best available evidence about appropriate policies and interventions that are needed both to reduce drinking levels in individuals and reduce the damage to families and communities that alcohol can cause. The report provides a blueprint for action, now and in the future.”

Professor Linda Bauld from the University of Stirling, who led the development of the strategy, said: “There is strong support for this strategy not just from the numerous organisations who have endorsed it, but also from the public. We found support for introducing warning labels on bottles, minimum unit pricing, restrictions on advertising and access to support and treatment for people addicted to alcohol. There is clearly an appetite for change, and our report sets out what needs to be done.”

The full report is available for download here.