Scottish MPs reject minimum alcohol price

BMA leaders have hit out at Scottish parliament MPs after they rejected plans for a minimum price on alcohol.

Alcohol: price affects consumption (Photograph: Istock)
Alcohol: price affects consumption (Photograph: Istock)

The move was rejected after a final debate on Scotland's Alcohol Bill last week.

BMA Scotland chairman Dr Brian Keighley said: 'This is a missed opportunity for our parliamentarians who had a real opportunity to drive forward public health policy, not just in Scotland but in the rest of the world.

'All politicians acknowledge that price is a significant factor in the level of alcohol consumption, so it is particularly disappointing that opponents voted down minimum pricing but did not propose any credible alternative.'

The BMA published a letter before the debate, signed by 165 people from leading organisations, urging politicians to 'put party politics to one side and make a positive choice for Scotland by backing minimum pricing of alcohol'.

NICE guidance published earlier this year recommended a minimum price for alcohol to tackle dangerous drinking (GP, 2 June 2010).

The NHS spends more than £2 billion a year treating the effects of alcohol abuse.

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