Minimum price 'will save 370 lives a year'

Introducing a minimum price on alcohol will save 370 lives a year in Scotland, according to a report from Sheffield University.

The report was commissioned by the Scottish government, which is expected to announce plans for a 40p-per-unit minimum price for alcohol sold in the off-trade.

At that level, the report says, alcohol-related deaths would fall by around 70 in the first year and after a decade, there would be annual NHS savings of £160 million and about 370 fewer deaths every year.

Academics at Sheffield project more saved lives if the minimum price is set at 50p, in line with calls from some on-trade campaigners.

The report has been criticised by opposition politicians and other groups who argue that minimum pricing will not tackle the root cause of alcohol abuse, and could damage the Scotch whisky industry.