Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol in Scotland study

A bottle of beer

The Alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) (Scotland) introduced a minimum unit price of alcohol below which alcohol must not be sold on licensed premises, and this was introduced on 1 May 2018. This evaluation, funded by the National Institute for Health Research and led by the University of Glasgow, aims to measure:

  • changes in drinking behaviours and acute harms using routine data
  • substitution effects
  • attitudes changes towards MUP and alcohol use among the public.

Different mechanisms may cause varied impacts on population sub-groups. As with any pricing policy, Minimum Unit Pricing is likely to affect disproportionately drinkers on lower incomes, and those who consume greater quantities. This research therefore focuses on young adult and disadvantaged populations and will examine potential disproportionate effects by comparing the impact across different socioeconomic groups.

We are conducting a repeated cross-sectional study of

  • all alcohol-related attendances at hospital emergency departments in two Scottish hospitals and two geographical control hospitals in Northern England at three time points
  • self-completed questionnaires of patients attending sexual health services to determine changes in drinking patterns and other substance use in three sexual health services in Scotland and three in North England at three time points
  • focus groups and interviews to be carried out a few months prior to and post-implementation in three study communities in Scotland.


Victoria University Australia

Lyndal Bond

King's College London

Colin Drummond

Paolo Deluca

Tom Phillips

University of Aberdeen

Anne Ludbrooke

Institute of Social Marketing University of Stirling

Martine Stead

Douglas Eadie

Dr Allison Ford   

NHS Health Scotland

Gerry McCartney

Clare Beeston

NHS ISD National Services Scotland

Lesley Graham

MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit logo 800 wide