Health body 'wants minimum alcohol pricing'

31 May, 2010

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is likely to put its weight behind minimum unit pricing for alcohol, according to a leaked report.

The body – which is the government’s main source of expertise on health issues – will tell ministers that minimum pricing would be the best way to curb problem drinking in the UK.

According to reports, NICE will not recommend a particular level for the proposals though it is thought that Professor Mike Kelly, director of NICE’s centre for public health excellence, would favour 50p a unit.

NICE calculates that 25% of people in Britain consume levels of alcohol that are potentially harmful.

The proposals would come at a time when the Scottish government is already attempting to introduce minimum pricing despite widespread opposition, and the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in Westminster is planning to outlaw below-cost alcohol sales.

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