Effectiveness of subnational implementation of minimum unit price for alcohol: policy appraisal modelling for local authorities in England
Previous studies show that minimum unit price policies on national level are a potentially effective intervention to prevent alcohol harm. This study investigates how effective it is to implement minimum unit price at regional and local levels compared to implantation on national level, using data from England.
Results were produced for:
- 23 local authorities in North West England
- 12 local authorities in North East England
- 15 local authorities in Yorkshire & Humber
- the 9 English Government Office Regions
- England as a whole
The measurements used were:
- alcohol consumption
- consumer spending
- retailers’ revenues
- NHS costs
- alcohol attributable deaths and health inequalities
One of the main findings is that Implementing a local £0.50 minimum unit price for alcohol in Northern English regions is estimated to result in larger percentage reductions in harms than the national average.
Reductions in alcohol harm thanks to minimum unit price
|Region||Alcohol attributable deaths||Hospitalisations||Crimes|
|England||1024 (-10.4%)||29943 (-4.6%)||54229 (-2.4%)|
|North West region||205 (-11.4%)||5956 (-5.5%)||8528 (-2.5%)|
|North East region||121 (-17.4%)||3255 (-7.9%)||4380 (-3.5%)|
|Yorkshire & Humber region||159 (-16.9%)||4610 (-6.9%)||8220 (-3.2%)|
Results vary across local authorities – annual alcohol attributable deaths are estimated to change by between -8.0% to -24.8% across the 50 local authorities examined.
The results of this study show that minimum unit price policy is likely to be more effective in regions with higher alcohol consumption and higher levels of alcohol related harm, like the three northern regions of England.
Background and aims
Evidence exists on the potential impact of national level minimum unit price (MUP) policies for alcohol. This study investigated the potential effectiveness of implementing MUP at regional and local levels compared with national implementation.
Evidence synthesis and computer modelling using the Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model (Local Authority version 4.0; SAPMLA).
Results are produced for 23 Upper Tier Local Authorities (UTLAs) in North West England, 12 UTLAs in North East England, 15 UTLAs in Yorkshire & Humber, the 9 English Government Office Regions and England as a whole.
Health Survey for England (HSE) data 2011-13 (n=24,685)
alcohol consumption, consumer spending, retailers’ revenues, hospitalisations, NHS costs, crimes, and alcohol attributable deaths and health inequalities.
Implementing a local £0.50 MUP for alcohol in Northern English regions is estimated to result in larger percentage reductions in harms than the national average.
The reductions for England, North West, North East and Yorkshire & Humber regions respectively in annual alcohol attributable deaths are 1024 (-10·4%), 205 (-11·4%), 121 (-17·4%), 159 (-16·9%); for hospitalisations are 29,943 (-4·6%), 5,956 (-5·5%), 3,255 (-7·9%), 4,610 (-6·9%); and for crimes are 54,229 (-2·4%), 8,528 (-2·5%), 4,380 (-3·5%), 8,220 (-3·2%).
Results vary across local authorities, e.g. annual alcohol attributable deaths estimated to change by between -8·0% to -24·8% across the 50 UTLAs examined.
A minimum unit price (MUP) local policy for alcohol is likely to be more effective in those regions, like the 3 Northern regions of England, which have higher levels of alcohol consumption and higher rates of alcohol harm than for the national average. In such regions, the MUP policy would achieve larger reductions in alcohol consumption, alcohol attributable mortality, hospitalisation rates, NHS costs, crime rates and health inequalities.