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Arguing the Food and Drug Administration is precluding competition for biosimilar manufacturers, Boehringer Ingelheim has petitioned the agency to alter its interpretation of the word “strength” found in a federal law that has made it possible to sell these medicines.

The move reflects a wonky, behind-the-scenes dispute that, nonetheless, holds potentially great significance for the burgeoning growth of biosimilar treatments in the U.S., which is expected to reach $80 billion in aggregate sales over the next five years, according to one recent forecast.

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