Does the Confidentiality Provision Apply to Pharmacists ?

In Suarez v. Pierard (278 Ill App 3d 767, 663 NE2d 1039 [1996]), the plaintiff commenced an action for violation of Illinois' Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act when her pharmacist discussed confidential information concerning plaintiff while in a tavern. In affirming a lower court's decision, the court had to construe the statute's definition of "therapist" to determine whether the confidentiality provision applied to pharmacists. A divided court found that "merely advising a person about the use of drugs or providing information about the drugs" did not establish the existence of a therapeutic relationship (278 Ill App 3d, at 771, 663 NE2d, at 1042; compare 278 Ill App 3d, at 774, 663 NE2d, at 1044 [concurring opn], in which Presiding Justice Breslin stated "Pharmacists do much more [than fill prescriptions]. They maintain extensive patient records and counsel patients on drug interactions ... Surely the public has a right to expect that pharmacists will keep the health conditions and treatments of their clients in confidence"). However, no claim of a common-law fiduciary duty was alleged or considered by the court in Suarez. The only issue the court addressed was whether plaintiff had a claim for violation of a confidentiality provision under Illinois' Mental Health Law. Much like this Court's interpretation of the Public Health Law, the court in Suarez found that the Illinois statute did not specifically refer to pharmacists.