Customer Sues CVS, Claims Pharmacy Worker’s Viagra Disclosure To Wife Destroyed Marriage

Erectile dysfunction drug disclosure may have wrecked Long Island man's marriage.

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Erectile dysfunction drug disclosure may have wrecked Long Island man's marriage.

A Long Island man claims a “chatty” pharmacist’s revelation about who was paying for his Viagra prescription caused his marriage to end, the New York Post reports.

The Post reported June 2 that Michael Feinberg is suing the CVS Pharmacy chain because a pharmacist told his wife who was paying for his Viagra prescription, causing the couple to split.

According to the Post story, Feinberg had his prescription for eight, 110-milligram, pills filled at a Merrick Road CVS in Long Island.

According to a Medical News Today story, Viagra, or sildenafil citrate, was originally developed by United Kingdom scientists to treat high blood pressure and angina but became widely known as a treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED) in men.

The drug can help men with that condition have normal sexual activity, according to the Medical News Today article.

He reportedly told the pharmacist, identified in court papers as “Aurula,” that he would pay for the $60 pills on his own and not to put in an insurance claim.

Instead of keeping the matter confidential, “Aurula” mentioned the arrangement to the man’s wife in an unrelated telephone conversation a few days later, the Post story said.

According to the Post story, the disclosure led, for reasons not mentioned in court documents, to the breakdown of Feinberg’s marriage.

He is suing the pharmacy chain on the basis of violating the Health Insurance Portability and Privacy Act (HIPPA) by telling his wife about using the drug.

That 1996 act developed national regulations to keep a patient’s medical information private from “third parties,” according to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department website.

The privacy part of the act limits who has access to medical records being transmitted electronically, according to the site.

Feinberg’s suit claims negligence in that CVS violated that part of the law by the pharmacist telling his wife the information over the phone.

He is suing for an unspecified amount of money for “severe” mental injury and emotional harm, the Post reported.

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“(CVS places) the highest priority on protecting the privacy of those we serve,” CVS Spokesman Gary Serby said in the story.

The company has more than 9,800 retail locations in 49 states employing 246,000 people.

According to its website, CVS serves 5 million people daily and manages or fills an estimated 2.5 billion prescriptions annually.

According to the Post, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department expects some 17,000 complaints regarding privacy violations under the HIPPA law.