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The price of a drink: the potential of alcohol minimum unit pricing as a public health measure in the UK

  • Peter Rice (a1) and Colin Drummond (a2)

Summary

The UK has seen a dramatic increase in alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm over the past 30 years. Alcohol taxation has long been considered a key method of controlling alcohol-related harm but a combination of factors has recently led to consideration of methods which affect the price of the cheapest alcohol as a means of improved targeting of alcohol control measures to curb the consumption of the heaviest drinkers. Although much of the evidence in favour of setting a minimum price of a unit of alcohol is based on complex econometric models rather than empirical data, all jurisdictions within the UK now intend to make selling alcohol below a set price illegal, which will provide a naturalistic experiment allowing assessment of the impact of minimum pricing.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr Peter Rice, NHS Tayside Substance Misuse Services, Sunnyside Royal Hospital, Montrose DD10 9JP, UK. Email: peter.rice@nhs.net

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest

P.R. is a member of Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems, a group formed by the Royal Colleges and Faculties in Scotland, and previously a Board Member of Alcohol Focus Scotland, a campaigning charity. C.D. has received research grants on alcohol misuse from the Medical Research Council, Department of Health, National Institute for Health Research, Cabinet Office, European Commission, Alcohol Research UK, Scottish Government, Wales Office for Research and Development and the Home Office. He has received an educational grant from Alkermes in 2008, and has chaired a NICE guideline development group, a quality standards topic expert group, and a Commissioning Outcomes Framework and Quality and Outcomes Framework expert group on alcohol use disorder. C.D. is a member of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs.

Footnotes

References

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The price of a drink: the potential of alcohol minimum unit pricing as a public health measure in the UK

  • Peter Rice (a1) and Colin Drummond (a2)

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The price of a drink: the potential of alcohol minimum unit pricing as a public health measure in the UK

  • Peter Rice (a1) and Colin Drummond (a2)
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