Another pain organization apparently is going out of business.
The American Pain Society is filing for bankruptcy and ceasing to exist in its current form.
“It’s a sad day for U.S. pain research, education, advocacy and patient care,” said Stanford’s Beth Darnall, Ph.D., in a tweet this week.
APS is the second pain organization this year to announce it’s shutting down.
The Academy of Integrative Pain announced it was closing down in February. The reasons appear to be similar.
All membership organizations are struggling with the fact that the new generation of doctors are simply joining as previous generations.
“People entering practice after training just aren’t seeing the value in joining organizations. They still want the educational materials and the networking, but much more of that can be done online these days,” said Bob Twillman, Ph.D., who ran AIPM.”
As a result, he said, there’s no need to attend big meetings at resorts or in expensive hotels which tend to attract sponsorship from companies that do business in the specialty.
U.S. Pain Foundation, the largest patient advocacy group in the country, also expressed its sadness that APS is shutting down—terming it “heartbreaking.”
“There are 50 million Americans living with #pain. Hard to believe there are so few orgs left for pain providers. When providers don’t have support and resources, it hurts patients,” US Pain tweeted this week.
One critic of the opioid companies was less charitable.
Andrew Kolodny, M.D. of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) tweeted:
“Good riddance! Despite having many members who understood opioids were lousy drugs for chronic pain, APS took millions from opioids makers, downplayed opioid risks, exaggerated opioid benefits, and lobbied against limits on opioid manufacturer,” he said.
Twillman indicated he believes the reasons for the demise of both AIPM and APS—notably the lack of support from industry and declining membership—may existentially threaten other organizations in the future.
Calls to APS offices in Chicago were not returned.