Primary source material is "direct evidence." This can include published reports of original research, but also journals, diaries, direct interviews, government records, and other types of "produced" work. (It need not be a research or scholarly work to be a direct source; thus the claim that it's primary because it's published in a peer-reviewed journal carries no weight in this argument.)
On the other hand, a secondary source is a source which reports on the work of others, whether it is published or not. Citing a secondary work does not make it a primary work; it's the relationship of the cited work to the original subject that determines if it's primary or secondary.
In this case, a "Perspective" column that summarizes ongoing work in the field is a secondary source, as it is analyzing the original work of others.