Several GAPA representatives participated in the Prince Mahidol Award Conference (PMAC) in Bangkok 31 January–3 February. Alcohol received quite a bit of attention in the conference and was mentioned by many speakers and in interventions from the floor, both in the plenary and parallel sessions as well as on Twitter (#PMAC2019).

Any mention of alcohol also seemed to be well received by the audience. Many new, young voices have taken this up in social media.

GAPA Chair, Professor Sally Casswell spoke in the plenary session “Address Determinants of NCD: the Whole of Government and Systems Response”, and in the parallel session, “Building Ethical Systems for Public Interest in the National Response to NCDs”. In addition Ms Aadielah Maker Diedericks from the Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance spoke in the parallel session about Commercial Determinants of Health and the experience from alcohol situation in South Africa.

Alcohol was also mentioned in the PMAC Conference statement:

“Recognizing that alcohol remains the only psychoactive and dependence-producing substance with significant global impact on population health that is not controlled at the international level by legally-binding regulatory frameworks; that although evidence is available on the most cost-effective ‘best buy’ actions which include increasing taxes on alcoholic beverages, enacting and enforcing bans or comprehensive restrictions on exposure to alcohol advertising across all types of media, and enacting and enforcing restrictions on the physical availability of retailed alcohol; these are yet to be fully implemented;”

PMAC 2019 Conference statement