On 16 September 2020 the journal Drug and Alcohol Review published a response which IARD submitted to the publication:
Rehm, J., Crépault, J.-F., Wettlaufer, A., Manthey, J., & Shield, K. D. (2020). What is the best indicator of the harmful use of alcohol? A narrative review. Drug and Alcohol Review, 39, 624-631. 10.1111/dar.13053.
Excerpt from IARD's response:
"IARD maintains our position, as we have done throughout the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEGSDG) process, that the measurement of the harmful use of alcohol should be made consistent with the full set of indicators previously agreed by Member States, set out in the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Action Plan for non-communicable diseases [2; appendix 2, p. 62]. This means the addition of the two following indicators: (i) age-standardised prevalence of heavy episodic drinking (HED) among adolescents and adults; and (ii) alcohol-related morbidity and mortality among adolescents and adults. This was in our proposal to the IAEG-SDG , and again as part of the Inter-agency and Expert Group Open Consultation . This would align the Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (SDG) Framework with the WHO Global Action Plan for non-communicable diseases 2013–2020 , which already includes all three indicators.
Although the United Nations Statistical Commission ultimately did not expand the SDG framework to include additional indicators for goal 3.5.2, we concur with statements of the co-chair of the Inter-agency and Expert Group that these indicators ‘still have a valuable role to play in the follow up and the review process of the SDGs through other means like national regional and thematic monitoring and … can provide important additional information and complement the global indicator framework with a deeper analysis’ ."
The same journal issue also includes a response to IARD's commentary by some of the authors of the original publication, in which they state: "We welcome an open discussion on the scientific merits of various approaches to measure progress towards the sustainable development goals (SDG) related to alcohol, and we believe that the alcohol industry and related organisations, such as IARD, should be part of this discussion."