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[irishhealth.com] , Condon, Deborah Cut price alcohol must be tackled. (12 Apr 2013)

URL: http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=21949

The call was made by members of the Irish, British and Ulster Societies of Gastroenterology. Gastroenterologist are at the forefront of treating patients with alcohol-related problems.

They insisted that tackling low prices is ‘an imperative step to tackling the health and social problems caused by alcohol in our countries'.

They believe that cheap alcohol that is widely available in convenience stores, supermarkets and even petrol stations has played a major role in the increase in alcohol-related diseases seen in recent years in both Ireland and the UK.

"The weight of scientific evidence for minimum unit pricing is impossible to ignore. It will save lives when combined with improved health services for people with alcohol-related ill health and save millions in wider costs to taxpayers in health and the criminal justice system," commented Prof Sir Ian Gilmore, president of the British Society of Gastroenterology.

Meanwhile, according to Prof Aiden McCormick, president of the Irish Society of Gastroenterology, the Irish government should introduce a 1% levy on alcohol advertising and sponsorship expenditure. Any funding generated by such a levy should then be ringfenced to fund an Institute of Alcohol Studies, which would focus on research into alcohol harm reduction.

"Currently there is no funding dedicated to improving treatment of serious alcohol-related diseases. We feel it appropriate that the industry which profits from alcohol consumption should fund research into harm reduction," Prof McCormick explained.

The doctors made their comments at the British and Irish Gastroenterology Conference in Belfast.

 

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