The Welsh Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford said they would "continue to develop our proposals with a view to introducing legislation" following publication of the Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model's Welsh findings. The report says that a 50 pence minimum unit price (MUP) could reduce Welsh alcohol-related hospital admissions by more than 1,400 and save 53 lives each year.
The announcement in Wales earlier this month came shortly after the Northern Ireland Executive also said it would proceed with minimum pricing. For Northern Ireland, a 50 pence MUP would be expected to reduce alcohol related deaths by 63 per year and save healthcare services £1.8 million within the first year.
Previously this year the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group published work which is said shows MUP is a targeted measure and would not 'punish responsible drinkers', a common charge fired by opponents. Further work by Sheffield also suggested supermarkets subsidise tax increases on the cheapest drinks to keep customers attracted in store.
MUP: not so fast...
Of course Governments announcing MUP plans and actually implementing it are not quite the same - Scotland are in the midst of a EU legal battle spearheaded by sections of the alcohol industry. Scotland first passed legislation to implement MUP in 2012, but cannot be sure it will even come into force in 2015.
SHAAP (Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems) are campaigning for people to sign in support for Scotland's MUP plans following a briefing on Alcohol Policy in Scotland: Proceedings from Brussles event [pdf].
In England, plans announced in 2012 for a minimum pricing were shelved were followed by accusations of industry lobbying. As an alternative, a 'below cost ban' has since been implemented, but its effect has been suggested to be minimal, if any. However Public Health England have committed to "continue to set out the evidence base for the introduction of a minimum unit price for alcohol".