Minimum unit pricing in Wales has moved a step closer after an independent expert panel recommended introducing the measure to address alcohol-related harm.

In a report to health minister Mark Drakeford, the Welsh Government’s advisory panel on substance abuse (APoSM) concluded that the introduction of minimum unit pricing would target the most vulnerable groups in society and “ameliorate the negative impacts of alcohol use”.

Earlier this year the Welsh Government proposed introducing a minimum price of 50p per unit. Drakeford said they would now develop the proposals further with a view to introducing the legislation as part of the Public Health Bill in 2015.

“There is indisputable evidence that the price for alcohol matters. It is no coincidence that as the affordability of alcohol has improved substantially so has alcohol-related death and disease,” Drakeford said.

“A minimum unit price will make a strong contribution to preventing alcohol overuse and misuse and reducing alcohol-associated illnesses.”