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Malaria is a major cause of illness and death in Nigeria, and a significant drain on its economy and the poor. Yet most Nigerians do not obtain appropriate treatment for malaria, and depend on informal private providers for anti-malarial drugs (AMDs), largely through patent medicine vendors (PMVs). Little is known about PMVs, or the poorly regulated market in which they operate. Increasing levels of substandard or fake drugs is a major concern about the drugs supplied to Nigerians. Understanding this market is particularly important, as rising malarial drug resistance has prompted changes in government malaria treatment guidelines, which now recommend the use of more expensive and less available artemisinin-combined therapy (ACT). Yet the reality for most Nigerians is that the market has been little affected by these policies, and access to quality malaria treatment remains low. This study seeks to better understand the role played by PMVs in the provision of AMDs in Nigeria, and to explore ways to improve the regulation and delivery of AMDs.