An analytical method based on capillary electrophoresis (CE) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) detection was developed for studies on the interaction of gold-containing drugs and plasma proteins using auranofin as example. A detection limit of 18 ng/mL of auranofin corresponding to 5.2 ng/mL Au and a precision of 1.5 % were obtained. Kinetic studies of the interaction between auranofin and protein were performed by incubation in aqueous solutions as well as 20 % human plasma at 37 °C. The reaction of auranofin with human serum albumin (HSA) and plasma proceeded fast; 50 % of un-bound auranofin disappeared within 2 and 3 min, respectively. By blocking the free cysteine (Cys-34) by iodoacetamide on HSA, it was shown that Cys-34 was the main reaction site for auranofin. By selective labeling of HSA present in 20 % human plasma with iophenoxate, it was demonstrated that HSA was the major auranofin-interacting protein in plasma. The CE-ICP-MS method is proposed as a novel approach for kinetic studies of the interactions between gold-based drugs and plasma proteins. Graphical Abstract Development of a CE-ICP-MS based method allows for studies on interaction of the gold containing drug auranofin with plasma proteins.