So, NICE, the body charged with ensuring cost-effectiveness in the NHS, says that alcohol minimum unit pricing is the most effective way to tackle excessive drinking and its impact on the NHS and society. Interesting, and certainly a challenge to the new Health Secretary and his alcohol taxation review, but ultimately misguided.
Where NICE have got it right, is that there is a clear and consistent relationship between the price of alcohol and its level of consumption. Indeed, the effects of price changes on alcohol consumption are more effective than other alcohol policy interventions, such as restricting the number of outlets, or bans on advertising or price promotion. But where NICE have got it wrong, lies in their inability to look at the bigger picture.