Doctors call for 50p per unit minimum alcohol price

21 February 2011 by
Doctors call for 50p per unit minimum alcohol price

Doctors have criticised the Government's ban on the sale of alcohol below cost price as "inconsequential" and have called for a minimum price of 50p per unit.

Liver disease specialists writing in medical journal The Lancet also warned that the Government was "too close" to the drinks industry, according to the BBC.

Doctors said that by following the strict restrictions on marketing adopted by countries like France, doctors could reduce the level of deaths from liver disease of 11 per 100,000 by a third.

If nothing was done, they warned that deaths from all alcohol-related caueses - including cancers and road accidents - could kill 250,000 people in England and Wales over the next two decades.

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore told the BBC that although alcohol consumption had fallen slightly in Britain, some people were drinking more. He also said there was a "very close link" between the falling prices in real terms over the last 20 years and the amount Britons drink.

Despite the comments, the Government was taking "tough action" against alcohol misuse.

The news comes after an investigation by the Guardian newspaper, which showed that the new minimum alcohol price, which bans retailers from selling alcohol at a price below the price of alcohol duty plus VAT would affect only one cut-price supermarket drinks deal in thousands.

Industry slams minimum alcohol price plan >>
Government resists calls for minimum alcohol price >>

Tories would scrap 24-hour drinking laws and oppose minimum pricing >>

By Neil Gerrard

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