Influential Pain Academy to Close Its Doors

Influential Pain Academy to Close Its Doors

The Academy of Integrative Pain Management announced this week that it is closing its doors. The organization, which has existed for 30 years, has been an important voice in promoting an integrated patient-centered approach to dealing with pain including pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches.

“This was an incredibly sad and difficult decision,” said Bob Twillman, Ph.D. who served as AIPM’s Executive Director and has been an important voice in advocating for federal and state regulations that impact how chronic pain patients are treated.

Dr. Twillman said there were several factors involved in the decision to shutter the operation, including dramatically reduced support from industry—particularly opioid manufacturers.

In addition, professional associations like AIPM are finding that their legacy members are retiring, and younger professional are not joining organizations or attending big meetings that generally help drive revenue for professional organizations.

Dr. Twillman’s future is unclear but includes a desire to continue to work in the “pain space”, hopes that others will fill the void that the AIPM will leave.

“Our message has never been more relevant than now, especially in light of the opioid crisis,” he said.

As an example of his leadership, Twillman has been a critic of the Oregon Chronic Pain Task Force proposal to force taper Oregon’s Medicaid patients off opioids.

“There is neither little high-quality evidence that patients receiving long-term opioid therapy experience a net benefit if their therapy is tapered involuntarily,” Dr. Twillman told the National Pain Report last year. “I completely support expanding coverage for non-pharmacological treatments for people with chronic pain, but this is not a “both or neither” situation—it is possible to increase that coverage without mandating an opioid taper.”

Many in the pain community were saddened to hear of the decision to close AIRP.

“We are deeply saddened to hear that AIPM is ceasing operations. Over the last 30 years, AIPM and its staff have done so much to support people with pain. Integrative, multidisciplinary care is essential to effectively and safely treating pain. It is truly a loss for the pain community,” said Nicole Hemmenway Interim CEO, U.S. Pain Foundation.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Clarification and update: The Academy of Integrative Pain Management is not a clinic. It does not provide direct care. It is an advocacy and educational organization. It is a multidisciplinary organization of healthcare practitioners who treat chronic pain patients and want to explore and make available to pain patients all available options for treating pain. Members include MDs, physical therapists, chiropractors, psychologists, acupuncturists, nurses and more. The organization recently covened a policy congress of more than 70 organizations to work together to advance humane, integrative pain care. The organization also credentials healthcare practitioners in integrative pain treatment. The prospect of its loss is devastating to members. It appears that the organization accumulated very significant debt, unbeknownst to its members, over a period of several years and does not have a way of discharging its debt other than dissolving. Government had nothing to do with this problem. Members of the organizaton are currently gathering information and exploring options for continuing to fulfill the mission of the organization.

Opioid and candy is harmful. Tell me somethings that isn’t.

This was a program operating on greed. It was illegal, unconstutual and murder 5 of my neighbors. I was misdiagnosed and meds taken away. Found out later I had been sent to the wrong doctor. No body would listen to me.


Hmmm. Looks like this agency was funded almost entirely by the Opiate manufacturing community . Their profits have dried up, so the agency has to close its doors. If I sound like I’m glad, I am NOT. I’m but one of tens of thousands of chronic pain patients who would give almost anything to see everyone back in business again.

Sad but not shocking. This day and age not much of anything shocks me when it comes to our very sick and twisted government. They indeed are the Puppet Masters keeping “everyone” on strings and or cutting them. Our physicians, our pharmacies, their organizations, etc., Stop saving lives, stop prescribing, be careful, shut down or be quiet. Suffer the consequences or else … Including us.

Barbara Snow

Our country does not care about us. I don’t think this issue is even on the radar in any state. I’m tired now, and left in pain. Florida is never going to do anything.


18 yrs on opioids after broken neck and back. 50-60 he work weeks. Always in pain. Primary doctor couldn’t perscribe pain pills under new laws. Went to pain clinic. Treated like drug addict. I took it and followed their rules.

My pill count made their numbers look bad so they put me fetanyl patches. Built me up to a dose that almost worked then after 2yrs said they had to taper me. I was making their numbers looks bad.
This after paying $1,100 for a genetics test that showed I don’t metabolise opioids properly. Most is flushed out of my system.

They suggested a morphine box wired into my spinal cord. I fired them. Went cold turkey to prove to myself I wasn’t a drug addict and that the pain was year. Oh boy. It was real.
After a month a client pulled out a the vape pipe I’m front of me and said try this. Weed doesn’t really affect me and I let him know that. He said this was the extract and much stronger but without the dumbing down stupid tired feeling weed gives (at least to me).

It was strong! It reduced my pain by 60-75%.
He also suggest a plain extract called Kratom. I take a tablespoon in the morning before I go to work. There is no high, but the pain isn’t nearly as intense. Sometimes I forget I’m in pain.

For me, this has been a life changing experience. To all my chronic pain brothers and sisters, please give it a try. Go online and order some. Or go to a smoke store. I’m using Red Bali which is a blend recommend for pain.

It’s about $50-150 depending on quality and quantity. It helps. Please try it. The gov wants to take it off the market. If it works for you start buying and storing as much as you can.

The capsule are expensive but have no taste. Bulk powder is much cheaper but my God does it taste bad. I put it in tea with lots of surger and actually gag if I don’t swallow it fast enough, but the pain fades away.

Funny. It doesn’t get you high. No one has ever died from it but they want it off the market. What a sad joke.

Cameon Keeley

This will hurt us all. There are so few advocates out there. We are truly on our own.

Chronic pain patients need to: 1. Ban together and make a robust market for pain meds paid out-of-pocket by patients; with community-clout to bargain for reasonable prices; completely avoiding insurance companies. 2. Find a mail order pharmacy with non-scalping prices; to fill this niche/volume business. 3. Find doctors who understand pain management and who are comfortable prescribing opiates knowing that government/insurance bean counters will likely keep a distance; absent insurance companies’ motives to protect unholy profits via disrupted costs and governmental lobbying. 4. Find lawyer(s) who are willing to defend individuals’ rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Take any pushback to the SCOTUS.

Ghost Ryder

There’s an undeniable, dominant force replacing “The Republic.” “We” the People, have no control over our healthcare, or our inability to access relief from real lifelong torture.
Interestingly, that’s not the case for mothers of unborn babies, who, just shy of the big push- “get to decide what to do with their own body’s” …including ridding it of pain; like the pain & suffering of not getting to dispose of a full term baby as long as he or she hasn’t taken that first burdensome breath.
Great work, you who’s - the ones rescuing heroin addicts & wishy washy womb keepers @ the expense of innocent pain patients & precious babies.
Sounds like a fabulous place & spectacular top deck.
We should respect & be proud of the management. They have a lot of tough decisions to make- like, a lot, (theirs and ours).

Brenda Bennett

OMG…. We do not need to loose Dr Twillman!! America is no longer free! I pray that EVERY govt official that is trying to take opiates away WILL HAVE THE WORST PAIN imaginable. I ask that u all plz pray wth me on this. God can’t be happy that their doing us this way. God created the poppy seed.. Then lets see how hard they work to stop opiates. God help us all, brenda bennett

Maureen M.

This is very disheartening to hear about. What exactly is the message here?!
Thank you Cindy Perlin for putting effort into finding out more and informing us.


This is crushing. My God.

I’m not a patient, but I’ve been on the email newsletter list. We need our advocates.

If the government did this, it’s just terrible that the government is allowed to go on a seek and destroy mission without justification. It’s legal just because they do it??!?!?

This country is terrifying.

What is the suicide number up to now. Chronic pain patient. I have plates,screws,and wires inside me!


It’s about the ” Money”
it’s always about the ” Money”.
This Dr. who started the group to educate about ” Pain” just wrote the Drug Manufacturer’s money dried up!
So now the educational organization this Dr. started to educate ” about “All” avenues for pain maintenance therapies for pain relief for pain patients is gone. Drug Manufacturer’s don’t care about patient education for other Pain therapies because they only ever wanted to support an organization that promoted the use of ” narcotics” as part of pain therapy.
There is no mystery or politics
Dr. Needs money to fund his organization……..
I’m sure drug manufacturers don’t care about “supporting” other alternative pain therapies.
So once again ” America” has no support for treating pain patients. And the one item most of us require is some form of opioid therapy to attempt having a life.


John, this was in action years before President Trump. You should lay the blame on President Obama and the pill mills as well as the real dope heads.I just had my third surgery, I am hoping that I will never need pills again in a few weeks. Maybe a surgeon can make a difference I don’t know for sure the first two was failures but I have a good feeling this time will be different. I wish you well and will pray for you to find a dr. Or clinic .

Karen kremer

there are no other options stop saying there are and make no insurance especially medicare covers any thing Stop lying

Susan Ackley

This is indicative of changes in technology and how professionals network and collaborate. The conferences that supported this organization used to be the way to hear about industry news and connect with colleagues and vendors. Now you don’t have to take time away from the office, fly to a hotel somewhere and spend days in conference rooms in order to keep up. Watch for more of these shutdowns as collaborative models continue to modernize.

All the cpp that say we are suffering are being polite.. Severe pain cannot make it on 90 mme. We are dying because we are sick and non productive.Excuse me just like the clinic the cpp will be shutting our doors soon too. If lucky I go to the pharmacy to get 3 weeks of pills to last 4. It is Hopeless, so get right with God.

Mildred Bradway

Bigger questions since these business close down does that mean that the government run healthcare is going to take over. Since the medical field was hurt by Obamacare the medical field is changing their ways of pratice.
Illegal illicitt street drugs are forcing doctors out of pratice. Sending you to PT or other alturnatives you cant afford. Radio Fequency, Guided streiods Injections. Most people are in limited funds espeically the seniors, disabled, the Elderly.
Making America great again is a joke. Its more like let make America Suffer to kill them off. Yet these people are the ones who made America great.

James Jones

Sad indeed. Because all of this exaggerated hype and drug dealers lacing their dope with fentanyl many good people have, and will continue to suffer. When you get right down to it this is a case of a few bad apples causing a whole segment to suffer. Not to mention the whole idea that America is a free country is clearly not true. I cant wait to have to money to leave here for good.

Long time sufferer

Until the verbiage is changed back from the new “Opioid Epidemic” to what it actually is: a War on Drugs, those of us who benefit from Opioids by the only relief from our pain are being punished by those who actively abuse Opioids and/or Street Drugs.
Call it what it is: a War on Drugs. We’ve never won that War. Why change it’s title now?

Who’s keeping up with the suicide numbers? Pain is very real and deadly for us who try to endure it.
Our faith is being compromised by our on Government?

Jeanne pruitt

I was going to pain management I stoped going because every other appointment there was allways some medication in my system that I do not have in my home and allso the drug supposedly in my system I’m allergic too.they had me do all kinds of test like sonograming the veins in my legs and allso a brain scan.every appointment I would give them a urine sample and put in a room where I waited untill a woman came in but I would ask about the results and for months I would be told that they have not come in yet for months and months.the last time I decided I was fed upend after going two to three apointment a month at $40.00 a visit.yes I am in emense pain and have been tolerating it it I will not got to a doctor That I have never even seen at all and be told I am a opiod atic!!the name is Comprehensive spine and pain in Villarica ga..Dr pupolla

With AIPM closing its doors , Well that will be more people that could possibly commit suicide that have nowhere else to go. It is very sad for those people suffering with intractable pain. It’s basically giving them no hope. A study should be done on how many patients take their lives that went to this Clinic. I’m not trying to be grotesque but you know it may happen and the government needs to know what they’re doing to people. That’s why a study needs to be done. And given to Media. My hopes are that all the patients will find another clinic. My prayers go out to each and every one of them. Thank you Dr. Twillman for your support. You will get a job much easier than the pain patience will find help.


The timing of this shutdown seems rather unusual and somewhat suspect. I am not a conspiracy believer but this strikes me as very strange considering the current situation in the pain community.

Nathan Evans

please start another pain management office and charge 125/month concierge fee, and continue to provide those in real pain with a quality life

Marshall loyd

Im truly discussed by the gistapho approach to destroy and dismantle the pain management field I have been tapered down to a dose that doesn’t even touch my pain I am now unable to work and be a productive member of society I feel totally worthless this chain reaction has destroyed my life.

Anthony Harding

The Government forced the Academy to close it’s doors. They threatened and extortioned many of the people that work there.

Cindy Perlin

Please note that the closure of the Academy of Integrative Pain Managment is not a done deal. An email two days ago was the first time the general membership of the organization heard about the financial problems or the plan to close the organization. In order to close, AIPM is legally required to have the approval of more than half the membership. I reached out to almost half the membership in the organization yesterday by email. Everyone who responded was vehemently opposed. We don’t believe that the Board has fully explored fundraising opotions and want some answers. The organization is needed now more than ever and has made committments to its members that will not be fulfilled it it closes its doors.

Cindy Perlin, LCSW

Bud Moore

Just another nail in the coffin of pain suffers that will eventually be forced to taper.We are truly victims of the few who will screwed us all in the long run. You can tell, my doctors and assistants all are starting to say it’s not me, it’s the government. Unreal

Karl Zaremba

Just another swing of the pendulum back to the suffering side. In another 10 years the pendulum will swing back based on the fact that we are under treating pain. In the meantime many people who find benefit and relief in the use of opiates, and do so responsibly, will suffer.


As I sit here in my trailer, in real pain I can notnhelp but getbangry at the newvTrump imposed restrictions on Pain Management. It is so wrong tominclude thisb group of educated professionals in the war on drugs. I have been in the system for 32 years. I did see one doctor who abused his practice a little. He was closed down long ago and long before Trump. Pain Management has allowed me to continuously work. Now I just can not do it. What kind of sense does that make? My pain is close to unbearable now, the clinic I weent to for years months ago and because I took 120 mg per day of methadone, 12 remaining practices in my area have refused to pick me up. These doctors even refuse to view my MRI workup from 2015 that clearly shows real spinal problems (lumbar 3 collapsed discs, thorasic syrinx spanning 5 vertibre, cervical 2 shattered vertibre). Doctors are acting out of fear here in Arizona. Fear of prosecution. I came here for the climate six years ago and with my doctor’s support was able to work continuously. Now I have been down for weeks without support. The problem is compounded as our governor is a real Trump fan. I will never understand how intelligent citizens voted these priveleged, profit before country extremests in office. In 32 years the methadone I received was never abused. I do not drink and my medicine is the least abused narcotic on the planet. I tried, for 5 years plus I took onnly NSAIDS. 500 mg of Naproxen 3 thimes a day, many days more and I had massive bleeding ulcers. When I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, I was told I could no longer use Naproxen or even an aspirin and put onto narcotics. It took a couple of years to get me to methadone but once I did, I was amazed that it did not affect me cognatively. Just relieved my pain. All I ever wanted wsss a chance and it allowed me to work to here. But I doubt I can go further without it and who wants to sit here in this pain. Shame on the politicians.

Robert Schubring

The voices of actual pain patients are never heard in the courtroom.

Opioid manufacturers supposedly have an axe to grind.

Malpractice insurance companies like PRI that make money every time a patient commits suicide, definitely have an axe to grind, yet PRI board director Andrew Kolodny never discloses his connection to this company, while slandering pain patients as “drug seekers” and libeling our medications as “heroin pills”.

The Food-addicted former New Jersey Governor who led the charge to sue Opioid manufacturers has no clear plans for how to use the money he gouges from patients by forcing up the price of our medicines but Chris Christie never bothered to stick to the truth.

All of these people pretend that they care about pain patients. All pretend to speak for us.

Unltil our voices are actually heard in the law courts, we will be presumed to agree with all the lies being told about us, because we failed to speak up in court.

When the people who helped us were being viciously attacked, why weren’t we in court, speaking out for them?

We gave PROP a free pass to attack us, by not speaking up in court when we had the chance.

Shame on us.