College comments on final PHS evaluation of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP).

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh ( “the College”) has given its reaction to the publication by Public Health Scotland (PHS) of its final evaluation of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP).

Commenting, Professor Andrew Elder, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, said:

The College welcomes PHS’ final evaluation of MUP which clearly shows the positive impact the policy has had in terms of reducing alcohol consumption and preventing alcohol-related hospital admissions and wider harms.

It is a significant achievement that MUP has helped save around 250 lives each year since it came into force. It is also encouraging that it is having its greatest impact in Scotland’s most deprived communities where we see some of the deepest rooted health inequalities.

The College considers that MUP can have an even greater and more positive effect on reducing Scotland’s alcohol harms if Parliament moves now to make MUP permanent and to uprate it to at least 65p. We call on the Scottish Government to take decisive action to take this forward without delay and we urge opposition parties to support this, recognising the benefits that have been identified by PHS.

Alcohol-related hospital stays in Scotland continue to place strain on our acute health services and deaths from alcohol remain unacceptably high. The evidence shows that MUP can be a key tool to help turn this situation around.