In medicines development, the gold standard often refers to the best available therapy/product/treatment. Depending on the context, the gold standard may also mean different things. In clinical design, a double-blind, randomised
trial is seen by many as the gold standard.
The gold standard may change over time as new methods/treatments/medicines become available. For example, the gold standard test for the diagnosis of aortic dissection (a tear inside the aorta) used to be the aortogram, which had a sensitivity as low as 83% and a specificity as low as 87%. Now, the magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA) is seen by many as the new gold standard test for aortic dissection, with a sensitivity and a specificity both over 90%.