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About the Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC)

Background and Purpose

The Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC) is a unique multicenter toxico-surveillance and research network comprised of physicians specifically qualified in the field of medical toxicology. Conceived of in 2009 by Drs. Jeffrey Brent and Paul Wax, ToxIC was initiated on Jan 1, 2010 with six participating sites. Since that time ToxIC has grown to approximately 50 participating sites comprised of nearly 100 hospitals and clinics. Currently, the great majority of medical toxicology practices and training programs in the U.S. are active ToxIC participants.  

ToxIC functions under the auspices of the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT), the professional society of physicians specializing in that discipline. As currently constructed ToxIC has two primary functional components: a multi-center research group and a case registry. The research group is designed to provide an infrastructure for research and other data gathering projects and ToxIC sites participate in these multi-center activities on an as needed basis depending upon the design of particular projects.

The ToxIC case registry was designed to address the lack of accurate and reliable data on adverse effects deriving from exposures to medications, drugs of abuse, natural substances, metals, pesticides, or other chemical substances (“chemicals”). Because all cases entered into the ToxIC Registry have been formally evaluated by medical toxicologists the toxicological data is expected to be, by design, of extremely high quality. 

Data Collection Practices

As a condition of participation ToxIC sites must agree to enter all cases formally consulted on by their medical toxicologists. The design of ToxIC, therefore, is such that the data collected is representative of significant toxicologic disease at the participating sites. Because cases of exposure to chemicals that do not require a medical toxicology consultation are not currently reflected in the ToxIC Registry, the data contained therein represents those cases of exposure that are associated with significant medical consequences.

Currently cases are added to the ToxIC Registry at a rate of approximately 150 per week. Since its inception ToxIC has accumulated data on over 50,000 cases. All data collected is completely depersonalized and protected information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is not collected. The data is entered on a secure password protected electronic interface maintained by ACMT.

Research Applications

As a toxico-surveillance network ToxIC can detect new and emerging drugs of abuse, adverse effects of new medications in the post-marketing phase, and emerging toxicological syndromes. As an example of its  toxico-surveillance capabilities,  ToxIC recently  detected a surge of cases brought to medical attention related to use of new synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists. This was brought to the attention of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and was published in its Monthly Morbidity and Mortality Monthly Reports (MMWR) {insert link}. That report exceeded the 99th percentile in press and internet mentions deriving from MMWR reports.

Since its inception over 75 abstracts based on ToxIC data have been published and presented at national and international meetings. Approximately 17 full ToxIC manuscripts have been published or are in submission and several are actively in preparation.

ToxIC has a number of focused research projects currently underway. Several of these are prospective data collections in specific project-dedicated sub-Registries. For example, the North American Snakebite Sub-Registry is overwhelmingly the most detailed systematic prospective collection of clinical data on these snakebites that has ever been collected. Currently that sub-Registry contains detailed data on the presentation, treatment and outcomes of over 600 snakebites. 

Consortium Leadership

ToxIC functions under the advice and consultation of a Steering Committee and has a full time Program Manager and additional scientific and administrative staff. Current funding for ToxIC comes from grants from the National Institute of Health, a data-sharing contract with the U.S. Food and Drug administration, and a grant generously provided by BTG International.

Please click here to learn more about ToxIC Leadership and Staff.

About the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT)

The American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) is a professional, nonprofit association of more than 600 physicians with recognized expertise in medical toxicology. In 1993 the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) formally recognized Medical Toxicology as a medical specialty. In that same year ACMT was founded as the primary organization to serve physicians who are board certified as Medical Toxicologists. Medical Toxicology is a medical subspecialty focusing on the diagnosis, management and prevention of poisoning and other adverse health effects due to medications, drug overdose, acute drug abuse problems, chemical exposures, occupational and environmental toxins, biological agents and envenomations.
Please click here to learn more about ACMT.

About the Medical Toxicology Foundation (MTF)

The field of medical toxicology is at a pivotal point in its history. Concerns about the adverse effects of drugs, chemical, and natural toxins on human health have never been higher.  In recent years heightened attention has been directed to medication errors and adverse drug reactions.  Acute and chronic complications from drug and alcohol abuse continue to inundate our health care system.  The prevention and treatment of chemical releases, both by accident and intentional terrorist threat, have become national priorities.

Given these challenges, it is essential to the future of medical toxicology that well-trained and qualified medical toxicologists continue to enter and practice in this field while also making advancements in current patient care. The Medical Toxicology Foundation works to sustain and improve the practice of medical toxicology and is committed to funding medical toxicology education and research programs that are vital to the care of patients suffering from the adverse effects of drug, chemical and natural toxin exposures.

Please click here to learn more about the Medical Toxicology Foundation.