Commenting on the publication of the government's alcohol strategy, David Buck, Senior Fellow at The King's Fund, said:
'This country has a poor record on tackling alcohol-related health problems. While the number of alcohol-related deaths has fallen in many other countries, the UK has seen a significant rise in deaths from liver disease and an increase in hospital admissions related to alcohol consumption. With current policies clearly failing, we welcome decisive and targeted action to reduce the harmful effects of excessive drinking.
'The evidence suggests that introducing a minimum unit price for alcohol is likely to be a targeted and effective way of reducing harmful levels of consumption. Implemented with care, it should reduce the amount sold and used, and the harm caused by cheap alcohol. But the government is right to consult on how minimum pricing should be implemented. To reverse the shocking increase in liver disease and other alcohol-related health problems seen over the past few years, minimum pricing needs to go hand in hand with support and treatment to help people manage their alcohol consumption and improve their health.'
Notes to editors
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