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EU expects steady number of 2011 new drug filings

* EMA sees 40 new drug applications vs 38 in 2010

* Drug company fee revenue to rise as EU funding is cut

LONDON, Dec 21 (Reuters) - The European Medicines Agency expects roughly the same number of new drug applications in 2011 as in 2010, suggesting the pharmaceuticals industry has as yet done little to improve its productivity.

Setting out its work programme for the year ahead, Europe’s healthcare watchdog predicted there would be 40 applications for new medicines for human use -- an increase of just two on the number of filings received in 2010.

In total 97 applications are expected in 2011, including new “orphan” medicines for rare diseases and generic applications, against 95 last year.

Drug companies will pay a larger proportion of the agency’s budget in 2011, with the European Union’s contribution to running costs at the London-based organisation falling to 33.5 million euros ($44.1 million) from 39.1 million 2010.

Fees from manufacturers, which pay to have new drugs reviewed by the EMA, will make up 161 million euros of 2011 revenue, against 152.8 million in 2010. ($1=.7599 euros) (Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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