Commenting on the final report on the independent evaluation of the impact of minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol in Scotland, Dr Tamasin Knight, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, and member of the BMA's Scottish Consultants Committee said:
"When the BMA in Scotland campaigned strongly and consistently for Minimum Unit Pricing it was because we were clear that it would deliver results like these – and more importantly save lives. While the estimated 13.4% reduction in deaths directly caused by alcohol consumption is in itself simply a number – behind these statistics are real people, who now have the chance to live fulfilling lives which they may not otherwise have done. This is something worth celebrating and a step forward for Scotland's public health.
“Reducing hospital admissions by 4.1% is crucial given the huge pressures on our NHS and just demonstrates the potential for public health measures to make a real difference to demand on services. With further commitment to MUP and other measures to tackle our country's difficult relationship with alcohol, this reduction in admissions is a trend which we hope will continue. Finally, with the largest reductions seen in men and those living in the 40% most deprived areas, this measure is clearly an important step to beginning to tackle the health inequalities that blight Scotland and its local communities. The key now is to build on this and for the Scottish Government to redouble their efforts. They can do this by uprating the MUP, given the impact of inflation and then focussing on ensuring there is a package of supportive measures in place to ensure we aren't simply relying on MUP to reduce the damage done by problem alcohol abuse in Scotland."
Notes to editors
The full report can be downloaded here.