Why we are evaluating MUP

The Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012 states that all alcohol sold through licensed premises in Scotland cannot be sold below a set minimum unit price (MUP). The MUP depends on the amount of alcohol contained in the product and is currently set at 50p per unit of alcohol (ppu).

Following a legal challenge and a vote in the Scottish Parliament, MUP was implemented on 1 May 2018. The Scottish Government has tasked us with leading an independent evaluation of MUP and here you can find information on why this is needed and how we will be doing it.

Why MUP needs evaluated

MUP for all alcoholic drinks has not been put in place anywhere before so the legislation contains a sunset clause. This means that it will expire after the sixth year of implementation, unless the Scottish Parliament votes for it to continue.

To inform this decision there is a review clause. This requires Scottish Ministers to present a report to the Scottish Parliament on the impact of MUP after five years of operation. The evaluation we are undertaking will inform this report.

Focus of the evaluation

There are two overarching evaluation questions.

  1. To what extent has implementing MUP in Scotland contributed to reducing alcohol-related health and social harms?
  2. Are some people and businesses more affected (positively or negatively) than others?

The evaluation plan

The evaluation plan for MUP contains a portfolio of studies which are either

  • undertaken by NHS Health Scotland
  • commissioned by NHS Health Scotland to external research bodies through open procurement processes
  • separately funded and led by academic partners.

You can find information on the themes and associated studies on our Themes and studies of evaluation of minimum unit pricing page.

You can find information on the studies led by academic partners with grant funding on our Separately funded evaluation of MUP studies page.

Summary of the evaluation

We have produced a summary and graphic explaining why MUP was introduced and how we will assess its, which you can share with colleagues.

You can also contact our team to find out more about the evaluation plan and the studies within it.