City services Drug and\/or alcohol prevention work with staff and businesses in the City of London has been of \u2018limited scope and unknown efficacy\u2019, according to a service review report from the Corporation of London. The document recommends increased spending on \u2018prevention work with healthy or low-risk users\u2019 to avoid potential future problems. The importance of providing proper support for employees with drug or alcohol issues is one of the themes of the forthcoming Recovery Festival. Details at www.recoveryfestival.org.uk Price proposals The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on its public health white paper, Listening to you \u2013 your health matters, which includes proposals to introduce a minimum price per unit of alcohol and restrict the use of e-cigarettes in public places. \u2018The Welsh Government\u2019s view remains that introducing minimum unit pricing for alcohol would be entirely in accordance with prudent healthcare principles,\u2019 says the document. Meanwhile, the UK government has released its first report on the progress of the public health responsibility deal, which promised to reduce the number of alcohol units sold by 1bn per year. So far the reduction has been a quarter of that, says Responsibility deal alcohol network: pledge to remove 1bn units of alcohol from the market by the end of 2015. Report at www.gov.uk; Wales consultation at wales.gov.uk. See news focus. PBR payback Payment by results (PBR) is holding back innovation in the public sector, according to a report from NCVO. Small and specialist organisations lack the reserves to cover the period until they\u2019re paid, says Payment by results and the voluntary sector, while the ability to hit targets can also be affected by failures in services outside the provider\u2019s control. \u2018Current PbR practice risks excluding the specialist charities we really need to involve in order to develop public services,\u2019 said NCVO chief executive Stuart Etherington. Available at www.ncvo.org.uk New era More people than ever are buying drugs online, according the findings of the 2014 global drug survey, which questioned nearly 80,000 people from more than 40 countries. Cocaine was voted the worst value for money drug in the world, while MDMA was voted the best and alcohol remained \u2018the biggest cause of concern among friends and the biggest culprit in sending people to emergency department\u2019. www.globaldrugsurvey.com Crimea crackdown Russia has banned methadone from clinics in Crimea, following its annexation of the region. The International and Eurasian networks of people who use drugs (INPUD and ENPUD) recently called on the international community to put pressure on Russia over the treatment of 800 substitution programme clients in Crimea (DDN, April, page 4). However, the head of Russia\u2019s Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN), Victor Ivanov, told the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS that methadone was \u2018not a cure\u2019 and that \u2018practically all methadone supplies in Ukraine were circulating on the secondary market and distributed as a narcotic drug in the absence of proper control\u2026 a source of criminal incomes\u2019. Engaging appointment Andrew Brown, formerly Mentor UK\u2019s director of programmes, has been announced as DrugScope\u2019s new director of policy, influence and engagement. \u2018With this excellent addition to the staff team we look forward to DrugScope building on our reputation for high quality, influential policy work, drawing on the best available evidence and the experiences and expertise of our members,\u2019 said chief executive Marcus Roberts. Stark statistics Homicides linked to gangs and organised criminal groups account for 30 per cent of the overall total in the Americas, compared to less than one per cent in Asia, Europe and Oceania, says a report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). More than 60,000 people are estimated to have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico alone in the six years to 2012, according to Human Rights Watch. \u2018It is likely that changes in drug markets drive lethal violence, rather than violence being driven by overall levels of trafficking flows,\u2019 says Global study on homicide 2013. Available at www.unodc.org Revolutionary decision Red Army vodka, which is sold in a gun-shaped bottle, has been found to breach the Responsible Retailing Code of Northern Ireland for associating alcohol with violence and aggression, with the Portman Group\u2019s Independent Complaints Panel concluding that the name and packaging were \u2018inappropriate\u2019 for an alcoholic drink. \u2018Strict UK alcohol marketing rules specifically prohibit an alcoholic drink from being sold if it has any association with bravado, or with violent, aggressive, dangerous or anti-social behaviour,\u2019 said the group\u2019s chief executive Henry Ashworth.