An objective summary of EBSCO journal subscription price records for academic medical journals (2005-2009 Journal Price History) shows an average 40% increase for the past five years.
Last year, the Medical Library community issued a Statement on the Global Economic Crisis and its Impact on Health Sciences Library Collections which called to both publisher and public attention to “the cost of STM (scientific, technical and medical) journals has risen disproportionately higher than other fields, and certainly higher than the vast majority of budget increases in health sciences libraries… the purchasing power and flexibility to build diverse collections suited to institutional needs have steadily eroded in health sciences libraries.”
Publishers seemed to have heard the distress in their customer base. Many biomedical journal publishers have provided assurances that there will be no annual price increases in 2010.
In the U.K., where green repository access is seen as a sensible long range investment, the system of paid subscription to knowledge is known as toll access: