UK alcohol industry’s “billion units pledge”: interim evaluation flawed

This was a British Medical Journal (BMJ) Analysis looking at the alcohol industries ‘billion units pledge’ and how the interim evaluation was flawed …..

UK alcohol industry’s “billion units pledge”: interim evaluation flawed

billion unit pledge flawed
billion unit pledge flawed

Flaws in the Department of Health’s interim evaluation of an alcohol industry pledge to remove one billion alcohol units from the market raise questions about the claimed success argue John Holmes and colleagues. They say that the report should be withdrawn and revised targets set.

You can read the full analysis here but these are their key messages:

Key messages

  • The responsibility deal includes a pledge from the alcohol industry to remove one billion units from the market and one of the UK’s central alcohol policies

  • The Department of Health’s interim evaluation of its success makes questionable assumptions and ignores key confounding factors

  • A robust quantitative evaluation of the effect of the pledge may not possible

  • The billion unit target should be dropped in favour of measurable alternatives

This is not a complete surprise I have to say somewhat cynically.  This pledge was set by the industry so they were going to chose a strategy that suited them and not necessarily the general public.  As long as they ‘look’ like they are doing something the govt leaves them alone …….

If  you are interested reading more about addiction and research into the subject then do visit a new organisation that has just launched a website and further resources:

Society for the Study of Addiction

Edited to add: 15/07/2015

Alcohol industry ‘pledges’ ineffective … and perhaps worse

Government-funded evaluators say ‘Responsibility Deal’ commitments made by alcohol companies were usually already done or underway, and even if fully implemented, were unlikely to significantly affect consumption or health. Other sources suggest one effect of the deal has been to forestall a more effective measure – a minimum unit price for alcohol in England | Drug and Alcohol Findings, UK

And more news: 10/11/2015

Dead on Arrival? Evaluating the Public Health Responsibility Deal for Alcohol (PDF)

The Public Health Responsibility Deal (RD) was launched in 2011 as a voluntary partnership between the government, commercial organisations, public bodies, academics and NGOs to promote public health goals. Through a set of non-binding pledges, these actors – and in particular industry – are expected to take steps to reduce health harms | IAS, UK

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