Prague, March 21 (CTK) – Drug-substitution treatment is possible also for pervitin (methamphetamine) addicts or problematic users, of whom there are 34,000 in the Czech Republic, but funds are lacking for a clinical study to test it, National Anti-Drug Coordinator Jindrich Voboril said on Wednesday.

Substitution treatment is using the same or similar substance that is otherwise obtained from the illegal market, he explained, and studies conducted abroad confirm the effectiveness of such treatment.

“We want to obtain funds to run a clinical study. It is easy where it is a concern of a pharmaceutical company, which pays for it,” Voboril told journalists, noting that previous applications for a grant were not successful.

Last year, he estimated conducting the study would cost some 15 million crowns for three years.

Substitution treatment is being used in the country, with a population of 10.5 million, for heroin addicts and 2,250 people underwent it last year. According to Voboril, one part of the patients pay for the treatment, while others have their treatment covered from subsidies.

PM Andrej Babis (ANO) said in February, Health Minister Adam Vojtech (for ANO) was to begin negotiating with health insurance companies about financing the treatment from the public health insurance.

The country is deemed by experts to be the biggest producer of pervitin. Intravenous pervitin use is on the rise, with 72 percent in 2016. Most Czech users of this drug are aged 15-64 and 0.8 percent of the population have used it in a single year.