Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland's Alcohol Strategy

SPECTRUM contribute to evaluation of the minimum unit pricing for alcohol in Scotland

11 June 2020

In 2010, Public Health Scotland (then NHS Health Scotland) set up a programme to evaluate Scotland’s alcohol strategy, including minimum unit pricing. Since then the Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland's Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) team have delivered a number of reports, including annual reports and infographics.

Access the reports on the MESAS website

Evaluating the impact of minimum unit pricing

On 1 May 2018 Scotland became the first country in the world to introduce a strength-based minimum price for all alcohol products sold through licensed premises as part of an ambitious and comprehensive strategy to reduce the amount of alcohol consumed and the associated health and social harms. 

On 1 May 2020, MESAS published the first analyses of off-trade alcohol sales in the full year following implementation of minimum unit pricing (MUP). The report summarises the volume of pure alcohol sold per adult in Scotland before and after MUP implementation, the percentage change in per alcohol sales over time and the change in average price per unit of alcohol sold. England and Wales were used as comparators because they had not implemented MUP in this period.

View the report on the MESAS website

A briefing describing the study and results is available from MESAS

In May 2020, the MESAS team published their latest study on the impact of MUP on protecting children and young people from parental or carer harmful alcohol use. The study team organised eight focus groups and one interview between February and May 2019, with practitioners who work with families (already known to services) who were affected by harmful alcohol use. The study showed that the complexity of the lives of the families involved meant that MUP was only one of a range of factors which shape the experience of children and young people.

More information on the study is available from MESAS

Read the briefing from MESAS

Protocol published

The full protocol for the evaluation of MUP was published in June 2020 in The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health as part of a special issue on alcohol policy and public health.

View the publication in full from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Further evidence on the impact of MUP on alcohol sales and price will follow in late-2020 and mid-2022.