By Kristen Kalmann, AAPS Newsmagazine Content Manager
As recently reported by Retraction Watch, a 2020 paper led by Hokkaido University scientist Masaya Sawamura and published in Science, is under investigation for manipulation of data. The paper, “Asymmetric remote C–H borylation of aliphatic amides and esters with a modular iridium catalyst,” touches on the topic of eco-friendly pharmaceuticals. According to a statement from Hokkaido University, ”all authors have agreed to retract this report and an institutional investigation of misconduct is underway.”
Globally, Japan has been recognized for its shift towards progress when it comes to sustainability efforts. As of 2020, Japan was ranked 59th in the Global Sustainability Index. As a society, laws have been passed in Japan that encourage a from the ground-up approach to support Japanese society in ease with eco-friendly options from everyday life through commitments in international agreements. We can see this summarized well in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Environmental Performance Review of Japan, which divides eco-based sustainable efforts into various categories: air, water, waste, etc. Lists of laws, commitments, plans, and actions are spelled out for each category. It is then no surprise that the topic Masaya and team covered in their paper dealt was geared towards addressing the future of eco-friendly pharmaceuticals. This is an interesting space to follow in the world of pharmaceutical science, but hopefully one that can be addressed without the need for retraction.
You may read a summary of this retraction, and many others on Retraction Watch.
 Japan – Ranked 59th in the Global Sustainability Index
 Green pharma: the growing demand for environmentally friendly drugs
 Chemistry paper retracted from Science