Pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer, known for such drugs as Viagra, has reported that about $700,000 in gold dust has come up missing at its Chesterfield, Missouri lab.
According to police, Pfizer is unsure of how the gold went missing, prompting them to contact police to help determine whether it was lost or stolen.
Experts say that depending upon the purity, that much gold would weigh from 30 to 70 pounds. The purer the gold, the lighter it would be.
“We’re not even sure if they just didn’t account for it and it was used naturally, or if it was stolen or misplaced,” said police Capt. Steven Lewis. “Some of it is gone and some isn’t.”
Pfizer did not want to comment on how it uses gold. The company issued a statement saying: “We are taking this matter very seriously and working closely with local law enforcement authorities on this ongoing investigation. It would be inappropriate for us to comment any further at this time until the police investigation has been completed.”
In addition to its popularity as jewelry, gold has numerous uses as a conductor in sophisticated electronics and computer systems.
It has also be found to be useful in medical application, namely specialty treatments for patients with Rheumatoid arthritis and certain forms of cancer where radiated gold is placed directly into tissue.
It is not clear whether Pfizer is utilizing gold dust for next generation pharmaceutical research.
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