Ben Toth frequently comments on open access issues relating to Cochrane. His most recent can be viewed here. Seeing this entry coincided with an e-mail from the rather good RD Info people. RD Info highlights new R&D funding and is often interesting to browse. One of their entries included the following:

NHS Cochrane Collaboration Programme Grant Scheme
Description: NHS Cochrane Collaboration Programme Grants will provide new funding to support the production and updating of Cochrane reviews in areas of priority or need for the NHS. The grants will build on existing Cochrane Collaboration infrastructure, supplementing rather than replacing current funding, activities and outputs of The Cochrane Collaboration.
Funding: Funding for approximately 8 grants will be available. Grants will be up to a maximum of £420,000 over three years (ie up to £140,000 pa) including institutional overheads or full economic costs at 80%. Grants will be awarded to support a coherent programme of work that includes both new Cochrane reviews and updating of existing reviews.
Amount : > £100K Closing Date : 05 March 2007 Duration : 1 year – 3 years

What struck me (and clever people like Ben have been commenting for an age on this subject) is that the NHS gives large quantities of money to Cochrane to produce the systematic reviews (as well as untold NHS staff time taken by volunteers actually producing the reviews). Cochrane (well Wiley, the publishers) then has the temerity to charge the NHS to look at them.