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Scotland’s chief medical officer asks for minimum alcohol price

23 June 2009

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Scotland`s chief medical officer has said that lives could be saved by introducing a minimum price for alcohol.

Dr Harry Burns, who said he was previously “agnostic but now endorsed the Scottish Government plan”, expressed his change of heart to a summit of retailers, politicians and health professionals.

He said: “It’s a no-brainer – one of the ways in which we can control the amount of alcohol being consumed is to tackle price.”

“If we do that, people who in the course of the next year are going to die are going to be drawn back from the brink.”

Scotland`s drink problem reportedly costs around £2.2bn, with the minimum drink price one of the main government proposals announced earlier in the year.

The minimum price of a 13% bottle of wine would be £3.90 if a figure of 40p per unit was decided upon.

The chief medical officer showed images of diseased organs to the people at the Edinburgh summit in an attempt to illustrate his warnings about alcohol-related deaths. He reportedly said: “Am I scaring you? I hope so.”

He added “Alcoholic liver disease is not a pleasant way to go, whether for the patient or the staff looking after you.”

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Scottish Government