Coding—New Oral Antiemetic Drug Akynzeo®

Date Issued: 6/23/2015

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Akynzeo® on October 10, 2014. Akynzeo® is a combination medication used to treat nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy.

Akynzeo® (Q0181 or Q9978) must be billed on the same claim with dexamethasone (J8540) to qualify for consideration of coverage. There must be no unbundling of the netupitant and palonosetron combination in Akynzeo®.

Claim lines billed without a KX, GA or GZ modifier will be rejected as missing information.

See the table below for billing instructions:

Billing Instruction for
Date of Service
Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) Code
Prior to July 1, 2015 Q0181 – Unspecified oral dosage form, FDA approved prescription anti-emetic, for use as a complete therapeutic substitute for an IV anti-emetic at the time of chemotherapy treatment, not to exceed a 48-hour dosage regimen.
On or after July 1, 2015 Q9978 – Netupitant palonosetron oral netupitant 300 MG and palonosetron 0.5 MG, oral