Predictive toxicometrics may be defined as "the discipline dealing with predicting toxic reactions" (and hence, the safety of chemical agents) in the general population from studies on samples of the same or similar populations. To the physician, this centers around the prediction of toxicity and safety of drugs and other chemicals, such as food additives, in man. Whenever a new therapeutic agent is tested, from preclinical tests in experimental animals to clinical trials in human subjects, the principles of predictive toxicometrics are guiding lights.
Although the mechanics of this discipline lie more in the realm of the toxicologist and the clinical pharmacologist, the underlying principles should be well understood by every practicing physician. Unfortunately, the curriculum of most medical schools gives insufficient attention to these principles. As Boyd states in his preface, the literature on predictive toxicometrics has mushroomed over the past ten years; to cover the field thoroughly would