The Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model (SAPM)
The Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model provides estimates of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of alcohol policies including pricing and availability policies as well as screening and brief interventions. It has been influential in informing current debate on alcohol policy and has provided a key evidence base for debates around minimum unit pricing of alcohol. Adaptations of the model have been provided for the Scottish government and work is underway to provide further international adaptations.
Please see below for further information on the structure of the model and key publications.
Structure of the model
Version 2 of the Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model addresses three different types of policies; pricing policies, availability policies and screening and brief interventions. The outputs of the model provide estimates of:
- Changes in alcohol consumption for different groups;
- Changes in the incidence of various alcohol-related harms including health conditions, crime, unemployment and sickness absence;
- The costs associated with changes in the incidence of harm incorporating direct costs including healthcare and policing costs as well as costs associated with changes in individuals’ quality of life.
The pricing model has two elements. The first element uses an econometric approach to model consumer responses to changes in the prices of alcoholic beverages. This allows appraisal of how consumers’ change consumption levels, drink in alternative settings or switch to alternative beverages following a pricing policy change. The second element uses epidemiological data on the relationship between alcohol consumption and various harms to model how those changes in consumption change the consumers’ risk of harm. This allows for estimates of the change in incidence of alcohol-related harms and the costs associated with those harms to be calculated.
The availability model addresses changes in outlet density, licensing hours and advertising and is based on a similar approach but uses published evidence rather than econometric analyses to estimate the impacts of availability changes on consumption. Changes in consumption are then linked to changes in the risk of harm and changes in the estimates of total harm as in the pricing model.
The screening and brief intervention model uses a range of data from healthcare settings and published evidence on the effectiveness of brief interventions in altering consumption behaviour to model a set of possible policies. The impact of changes in consumption is modelled as in the pricing policy, however, crime and work-related harms are excluded.
Full results of the modelling can be found in our report to NICE. Some of the key findings are shown below.
Various public health groups have recommended a minimum unit price of 50 pence. Our model suggests that, in England, this would:
- Reduce overall alcohol consumption by 6.7%
- Lead to:
- 3,060 fewer deaths and 97,700 fewer hospital admissions in the tenth year after policy implementation.
- 42,500 fewer crimes, 424,400 fewer days absent from work and 25,900 fewer people unemployed in the first year.
- Over 10 years this is estimated to lead to the following savings:
- £1.6bn direct health costs
- £408m in direct crime costs
- £5.6bn work-related costs
- £2.1bn in QALY gains
- Total savings of £9.7bn