Study into drinking and pricing choices of 404 UK liver disease patients

Following on from the You and Yours radio show shared yesterday, Dr Nick Sheron who was one of the guests on the show has carried out this piece of research:

A new study looks at the impact of minimum unit pricing (MUP) on patients with liver disease, as the lead author urges policy makers not to forget minimum unit pricing as “an almost perfect alcohol policy”. Dr Nick Sheron, a liver doctor and academic clinical hepatologist at University of Southampton led on the study which explored drinking and pricing choices of 404 liver disease patients.

In the press release Dr Sheron states:

“Setting a Minimum Unit Price for alcohol is an almost perfect alcohol policy because it targets cheap booze bought by very heavy drinkers and leaves moderate drinkers completely unaffected. Our research shows that an MUP set at 50p per unit would affect the liver patients killing themselves with cheap alcohol two hundred times more than low risk drinkers.”

See here for the: Nick Sheron research 2014

Just what we need – good research evidence to support minimum unit pricing policy.  This will be hard for the govt and  industry to dismiss as he is both a clinical and academic specialist in the field.  Hoorah!! 🙂

23 days to go

5 thoughts on “Study into drinking and pricing choices of 404 UK liver disease patients

  1. great study, thanks for posting. found this bit really interesting in the detailed report:

    ‘Clearly, an ineffective policy is not going to be taken up elsewhere, but if an MUP proves to be as effective as the evidence suggests, it will be adopted by other countries; Ireland, Switzerland, Wales and Poland are currently in various stages of the process. In Scotland, the MUP bill was a manifesto commitment overwhelmingly supported by the electorate, approved by parliament and given the Queen’s assent but is now stalled by legal challenges from the spirits industries, which under the circumstances are PROFOUNDLY UNDEMOCRATIC. (my caps!)

    Rather than opposing evidence-based health policies, a better solution for drinks industry shareholders might be to develop less lethal business models. This has happened in France, where the wine trade has shifted from selling cheap ‘plonk’ in high volumes to higher quality regional wines, which has resulted in increased profits despite reductions in population-level alcohol consumption and a dramatic decrease in deaths from liver disease.’

    when the drinks industry is effectively controlling this country’s alcohol policy we have got ourselves into an enormous mess…it would be nice to think there was a mutually satisfactory way forward…xx

    1. Morning Prim 🙂 The bit that really stuck out to me was this: ‘in the 2008 Alcohol Strategy consultation, the Department of Health stated that hazardous and harmful drinkers were responsible for 75% of alcohol consumption in the UK – a powerful motive for the drinks industry to oppose targeted polices to reduce harmful drinking and liver deaths’. I also find it interesting that the drinks industry are busy ‘re-branding’ cider as an acceptable mainstream alcohol product and yet this remains a favourite of the alcohol dependent population. Paradoxes in what the drink industry say they support and what they actually do are everywhere it would seem …

  2. Hi Lucy, although I don’t drink now because I can’t stop at one glass or two there are family’s who can and maybe have just a bottle or two oat the weekend the minimum unit cost will double the cost of the average Asda type wine and I feel it may penalise those who are sensible but on low income. I know the bigger picture justifys the measure but inevitably it will affect some adversely who don’t deserve it.

    1. Hi Catlady His research and modelling suggests it wouldn’t but I hear you. How goes the holiday? 🙂

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