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Sheffield Alcohol Research Group - latest news and activities


10 February 2014

SARG publish paper in The Lancet addressing impact of minimum unit pricing on drinkers from different income groups

Lancet paper Feb 2014An important paper by the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group, entitled Effects of minimum unit pricing for alcohol on different income and socioeconomic groups: a modelling study has been published in The Lancet.

This modelling study is the first to consider how drinkers from different income groups would be affected by minimum pricing in terms of alcohol consumptions and spending, alcohol-related deaths, illnesses, and cost to the health service.  

The results suggest that minimum pricing for alcohol effectively targets high risk drinkers, with negligible effects on moderate drinkers with low incomes.

9 January 2014

Sheffield Alcohol Research Group response to the BMJ report

Alcohol pricing reportIn late 2012, the Home Office requested a report on our most recent analyses examining the effects of minimum unit pricing. This was to inform consultation and impact assessment for policy proposals arising from the Government's Alcohol Strategy.

These analyses were published in two separate reports by the University of Sheffield on 17 July 2013, the first outlining results from a long-term study into the potential impact of alternative levels of minimum unit price and the second, produced in June 2013, exploring the potential impact of a ban on selling alcohol below cost.

The reports were made available to the Government in draft form throughout the months leading up to the announcement and the substantive conclusions of the reports did not change throughout that period.

The Government did not bar SARG from releasing the reports - we had agreed from the outset that we would align our publication with the Government's response to the Alcohol Strategy consultation to ensure we provided their impact assessment of minimum unit pricing with the most up-to-date evidence possible. Having produced additional analyses on below cost selling in June, a further consideration was that if these were published directly before the Government's announcement that could be considered a de facto announcement of Government policy.

SARG's research into the effects of minimum unit pricing is funded by the Medical Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council.

Dr John Holmes, Research Fellow, Sheffield Alcohol Research Group at University of Sheffield explains the research further in a blog published by The Conversation.

SARG news and activities archive: 2013 | 2012 | 2011