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Public Health England's voice "not sufficiently clearly heard" on minimum unit pricing, says Health Select Committee

A report released by the House of Commons Health Select Committee today has criticised Public Health England (PHE) for not making clear its official position on minimum unit pricing (MUP) as an effective evidence-based policy for tackling alcohol misuse.

The remarks come as part of a wider review into PHE's activities since its creation in April 2013, in which the Committee also expressed the view that the agency has yet to provide a "fearless and independent national voice for public health in England", highlighting minimum unit pricing (MUP) as a "useful case study" in demonstrating the need for a genuinely independent voice to promote improved public health.

The Health Select Committee wrote that if PHE "believes that MUP is necessary, and the evidence base supports it, then PHE must be unequivocal in expressing such a view". Yet, despite Chief Executive Duncan Selbie's claim that PHE had given an unambiguous view on the minimum unit pricing of alcohol, the Committee did not believe that the health body had yet struck the right tone in its public comments on the issue.

The report is available to view on the Health Select Committee section of the www.parliament.uk website.