The people of Great Britain have voted to exit the European Union, in a move that has sent shockwaves around the world and its markets.

The pound has this morning hit a 30-year low in the aftermath of the result, which saw 52 percent voting to leave and 48 percent to remain.

The outcome has also spurred the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron, who has now revealed his intention to step down from the position with a new leader in place by October.

As reactions to the result start to pour in, Mike Thompson, chief executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, a strong supporter of the remain campaign, said the decision "creates immediate challenges for future investment, research and jobs in our industry in the UK".

"With that being the case, we are committed to working closely with the government to agree what steps need to be taken to send a strong signal that the UK is open for business."

Steve Bates, chief executive of the BioIndstry Association, said that while the fundamentals of UK bioscience remain strong, "several key issues for our sector are now in flux".

"Key questions about the regulation of medicine, access to the single market and talent, intellectual property and the precise nature of the future relationship of the UK with Europe are now upon us. This will require detailed and dispassionate thinking and the BIA will make its and its members' expertise available to the government and its key agencies in the coming weeks and months as we work through these complex issues."

Sarah Hanson, Head of UK Lifesciences at international law firm CMS, said: "Although today's Leave vote has signalled the end of the referendum campaign, it marks the beginning of what could be an even longer period of uncertainty, particularly for the UK Life sciences sector."

"First and foremost we must consider its effect on the significant body of EU legislation which governs the development and supply of medicines and medical devices…Companies engaging in any way with the EEA markets will face increased regulatory burdens from having to deal with separate UK and EU regulation so the industry faces an arduous job ahead, keeping abreast of all relevant legislation to work out which parts of the UK and EU regulatory regimes will remain the same and which parts will diverge."

In a statement, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations stressed the importance of ensuring that the patient is at the centre of all subsequent decisions, as the implications of the UK's exit from the EU are considered.

"EFPIA shares the common goal of ensuring rapid access to innovative medicines for patients across Europe, as well developing a regulatory and policy environment that fosters innovation and supports the research and development of new medicines to meet the needs of patients, healthcare systems and society. As an industry, over the coming months, we are committed to engaging with stakeholders both in Europe and in the UK to support these objectives."