Public Health Scotland (PHS) has today published the final report on the independent evaluation of the impact of minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol in Scotland.
Evidence shows that MUP has had a positive impact on health outcomes and has saved an estimated 250 lives and averted over 800 hospital admissions each year since it was introduced in 2018. The public health body conclude that MUP is effective at reducing alcohol harm and it supports the continuation of MUP beyond its renewal date in April 2024.
In response to the report, Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, Chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance, said:
“The evaluation report of Minimum Unit Pricing in Scotland clearly shows that this policy is working as intended. Since its introduction in 2018, it is estimated that MUP has saved around 250 lives and prevented 899 hospital admissions each year – the benefits of which will span well beyond the individuals protected and into communities, the healthcare system and the economy.
“The Scottish Government must follow the advice to continue the policy and join the other forward-thinking countries who’ve taken this proactive approach to tackling the harm caused by cheap, strong alcohol. To maintain MUP’s effectiveness however, the minimum price must be increased to keep pace with inflation.
“Alcohol in England however is still being sold at pocket money prices and alcohol related deaths have reached record highs. The recommendations in the report today present a significant opportunity for Westminster to act on its promise to review the policy.
“The evidence is here and there is now a choice to be made; continue to delay this policy from saving lives or use the Scottish experience to address the public health crisis in England.”