Stakeholders include the government, private healthcare providers such as hospitals, health plans, office-based clinicians, industry groups or the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device manufacturers and marketers, professional associations, industry and trade associations, advocacy groups, and consumers (Donaldson and Gerard, 1993).
In the policy process, UK health policy encompass knowledge and effects on the networks between national government systems, arm's length bodies, the NHS, patient groups and charities, as well as information and processes in the Demand-side reform, Supply side reform, Transactional reform, Regulation or the Healthcare Commission, NICE, Therapy knowledge of gastroenterology, dermatology, cardiovascular medicine, anti-infective, sleep medicine, pain management, palliative care, oncology and neurology, identifying and utilising opportunities arising from non-medical prescribing, effective collaboration with patient groups, medical societies and Royal Colleges, managing national and regional guideline programmes producing timely responses and positive outcomes, knowledge of controlled drugs legislation, implications for commercial teams and preparation of submissions for Home Office consultations, knowledge of the NHS changing environment and incorporation into business plans and strategic marketing,
Parliamentary lobbying - understanding the process, networking and influencing, submissions to Government organisations including the Home Office and Health Select Committee (Donaldson and Gerard, 1993).
A policy is a deliberate plan of action that guide decision-makers in order to achieve rational outcomes that apply to governments, the private sector, organisations and groups as well as individuals (Jenkins, 1978). Policy could also refer to the process of making important organizational decisions, such as the identification of different alternative programs or spending priorities, or choosing among a list on the basis of the impact or result they will have. These can be political, management, financial, and administrative mechanisms arranged to reach explicit goals and objectives (Birkland, 2001).
Birkland (1995) have pointed out that while "the study of politics has a long history, the systematic study of public policy, on the other hand, can be said to be a twentieth century creation. It dates, according to Daniel McCool, to 1922, when political scientist Charles Merriam sought to connect the theory and practices of politics to understanding the actual activities of government, that is public policy," (p.4).
In most instances, according to Bridgman and Davis (2004), the eight step policy cycle includes:
1. Issue identification - In this process, emerging problems are identified, although