On Tuesday 14th May, Sir David joined the Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA)'s Parliamentary Event to celebrate progress in alcohol policy and hear of the many challenges that remain.
Alcohol contributes to an average of 65 people's deaths every day in England alone, and costs an estimated £3.5 billion a year to the NHS. The most substantial recent development in alcohol policy has been the adoption of minimum unit pricing(MUP). Last May, Scotland led the way by introducing a 50p MUP, and Wales will do so this year. This aims to target the highest strength, and cheapest products, that are most likely to lead to harmful alcohol consumption.
Sir David said, 'Dangerous drinking can have a truly devastating effect on individuals and our communities. We need to support targeted, evidence-based programmes that allow us to reduce alcohol harm. This can make individuals, their families, their communities safer and healthier.'
Sir Ian Gilmore, the Chair of the AHA commented 'The magnitude of the impact of alcohol on our society is truly staggering. The forthcoming Prevention Green Paper provides a great opportunity to reduce these levels of alcohol harm and allow England to catch up with its neighbours. We are calling on the Government to also introduce minimum unit pricing in England, a policy that can save hundreds of lives and prevent thousands of episodes of harm each year, without significant cost to those who consume alcohol in moderation.'