Public Health Scotland (PHS) welcomes plans by the Scottish Government to continue setting a minimum price per unit (MUP) of alcohol beyond April 2024 and to review the price to maintain its effectiveness.
An independent evaluation conducted by PHS showed that MUP at 50p is estimated to have reduced alcohol deaths by 150 per year and hospital admissions by 400 per year, compared with what would have happened without MUP.
Responding to the Scottish Government proposal to continue the policy and set a level that maintains the already evidenced public health value, Dr Tara Shivaji, Consultant in Public Health Medicine at PHS said:
"Deaths in Scotland from alcohol are high. MUP has contributed to saving lives and slowing the increase in alcohol-specific deaths seen across the UK since the pandemic. It is an evidence-based policy and a necessary part of a package of measures, including care for those people who experience alcohol dependence."
A PHS policy briefing on alcohol sets out the range of evidence-based actions that could be taken to prevent and reduce harm from alcohol, building on the progress that has been made through MUP.