100 outlets of Amma Pharmacies will be opened across the state today; 20 of these will be in Chennai. They will be selling medicines at affordable prices with just 4 per cent profit against the usual 14 per cent margin.
Speaking to NDTV, Minister of Cooperation Mr Sellur Raju said, "Chief Minister Amma wants to provide all kinds of medicines, from routine to life saving drugs at affordable costs to the common man".
The state government has allocated an amount of Rs 20 crore to the state cooperative society to finance these medicine stores, spending Rs 20 lakh for every air-conditioned outlet.
Ms Jayalalithaa, 66, is reverentially called 'Amma' by her followers in the state. Keen to market her image as a pro-poor leader, the chief minister has launched the Amma brand, selling commodities on a largely 'no-profit-no-loss' basis.
Amma Canteens were first off the mark, selling food items at subsidized rates. This was followed by Amma packaged water. Last month, she unveiled three varieties of low-cost salt: double fortified, low sodium and refined free flow iodized.
Riding a popularity wave, Ms Jayalalithaa's AIADMK had swept the Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu, bagging 37 of the 39 constituencies. The Opposition DMK, which is led by former chief minister M Karunanidhi, drew a blank.
The state faces assembly polls in 2016. The AIADMK had dislodged the Karunanidhi government in 2011 by wresting 150 seats in an assembly with a total strength of 234. The DMK was reduced to a mere 23 seats.