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Making Health Policy

Networks in Research and Policy after 1945

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What shapes health policy? Current thinking dictates that scientific evidence should be the basis for policy making in healthcare, but is this a new approach, and how has it developed? <I>Making Health Policy</I> shows how networks in science and the media have established a dialogue for policy making since 1945. Surprisingly, many of the networks influencing health policy are not political ones central to public discussion. Instead, scientific networks have shaped policies on public health, based upon findings of chronic disease epidemiology. For policies on illicit drugs, the clinical experience of a small group of psychiatrists held sway. And ironically in an ever cost-conscious world, high-technology areas – such as renal dialysis – saw economic considerations diminish as time passed. Health pressure groups entered the equation, and the last half of the twentieth century witnessed the rise of the media as the defining agency in the science/policy relationship. <I>Making Health Policy</I> is the first historical study to explore the unspoken links between science and recent health policy.

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