As the dust settles in Scotland following the ‘no’ campaign’s victory to end the independence discussion, the country’s pharmaceutical sector says it is time to “get down to business”.

ABPI Scotland responded to the result by noting that it is looking forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure that patients in the country “get greater, more rapid access to new medicines and the research and business environment supports the growth of the critical medicines sector”. Its director, Andrew Powrie-Smith, said the pharma industry “is already the single largest contributor to Scottish industrial R&D, and is the largest of all Scotland’s life sciences sectors”.

He went on to say that “it is a unique industry that researches and develops cutting-edge, life-saving medicines while at the same time making such a valuable contribution to the economy. Given the right commercial environment, the sector can continue to be at the cutting-edge of Scotland’s science-based economy”.

Last month UK life sciences minister George Freeman has warned that the sector in Scotland will suffer hugely if the country voted to leave the UK. He noted that Scotland secured £257 million of UK Research Council grants in 2013, alongside medical research charities’ investment of around £1.1 billion per annum and such funding “could not continue” if independence had been backed.