Gold and medicine have been linked for millennia, and recent years have seen a host of diagnostic tools and treatments approved by the regulatory authorities worldwide. Auranofin, a gold based drug initially approved as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis in the mid-1980’s, is experiencing a renewed surge of interest with clinical trials currently being performed to test its effectiveness against a range of diseases such as ovarian cancer and dysentery.
A series of similar drug candidates which utilise gold are currently developed as antibiotics designed to help address the worldwide healthcare crisis of rising antimicrobial resistance. Finally, gold-based diagnostics remain the most commonly used technology in low-resource settings for diagnosing conditions such as malaria and HIV/AIDS.
According to World Health Organization, 312 million gold-containing tests were distributed in 2016 to aid in the diagnosis of malaria, primarily in Africa and Asia.
These are prime examples of how small quantities of gold can have a significant impact on the lives of the people worldwide.