Lifestyle Economics

Testing drinkers on the basis of arbitrary targets would be a gross waste of NHS resources


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Reaction to NICE recommendation to scan those who drink above a certain amount of alcohol

Commenting on NICE’s recommendation that those drinking above a certain number of units per week should be sent for scans for cirrhosis, Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: 

“The health lobby have become victims of their own propaganda. The average liver cirrhosis patient drinks vastly more than 35 units a week. Unnecessarily testing millions of people on the basis of an arbitrary target would be a colossal waste of NHS resources.

“There are chronic drinkers out there who would benefit from a liver test, but these people should be referred by their GP. The health service has a limited budget. It should target people who need help rather than indiscriminately those who do not.”

Notes to editors: 

For media enquiries please contact Nerissa Chesterfield, Communications Officer: nchesterfield@iea.org.uk or 0207 799 8909 or 07766 221 268

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

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