Unlike so much else in the past seven days, the value of a drink is on the way up. The Department of Health's next attempt to reduce binge drinking will include curbs on free samples and happy hours, according to press reports.

It was welcome news to the sober Royal College of Physicians, which told The Sunday Times it also wants minimum charges for alcohol. Less so to pubs and TheDaily Star, which blasted "killjoys' blitz on boozing".

According to The Independent on Sunday life itself may also soon be revalued. A study for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has looked at its use of a quality-adjusted life year - or QALY - in deciding whether to fund drugs.

One QALY, which currently goes for around£20,000-£30,000, could soon be fetching up to£70,000 in the corridors of NICE, if the research is heeded. Newcastle University researchers asked people how much they valued life, taking account of other financial matters.

Meanwhile a new Dr Death - as The Sun and Daily Mirror have named him - is spreading the word of euthanasia. Philip Nitschke flew in from Australia to speak in Bournemouth about the "helium exit bag", "peaceful pills" and other methods of escaping it all. But two venues cancelled him amid claims Dr Nitschke was promoting suicide. Others may have been put off by the tabloids' nickname.

Defending his ideas, and sounding not unlike an economist, he insisted: "They have the peace of mind of an exit strategy."