Today marks the first anniversary of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) legislation coming into force in Scotland. Alcohol harm is a significant public health issue, and people in our poorest areas experience the most harm. There is good evidence that the affordability of alcohol influences how much alcohol people drink and the amount of associated alcohol harm. Minimum unit pricing is one way to reduce the affordability of alcohol. No other country has tried this for all alcohol before, so it’s important to evaluate the impact it has in Scotland. NHS Health Scotland were asked to carry out an independent evaluation and will report our findings by 2023.
Clare Beeston, Lead for the Evaluation at NHS Health Scotland, said:
“MUP has the potential to improve our relationship with alcohol in Scotland and reduce the harm it causes. But MUP in the form we have it in Scotland hasn’t been put in place anywhere before. That’s why it’s so important to gather evidence of its impact here – both positive and negative – through a robust and comprehensive evaluation, which moves beyond describing the intervention and provides evidence of what difference it is making and to whom.
“Everything we do in the Public Health community should be about ensuring a Scotland in which all of its people and communities have a fairer share of the opportunities, resources and confidence to live longer, healthier lives. This requires us to understand the impact of important policies such as MUP. This is not just about doing excellent science, it is about using it to make a difference to the people of Scotland."
To find out more about the evaluation of MUP, read Clare Beeston’s blog on the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) website: ‘Minimum Unit Pricing for Alcohol: How will we know if it works?’
For more information on MUP, visit the MUP section of our website.