Representatives of the UK pharmaceutical industry have reiterated their support for Great Britain's membership in the European Union just hours before polling station's open their doors for the referendum.

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and a group of leaders from ABPI member companies* have joined more than 1,280 business executives, including directors from 51 FTSE 100 companies, in stating their case for 'Bremain' in an open letter published in The Times.

"Our reasons are straightforward: businesses and their employees benefit massively from being able to trade inside the world's largest single market without barriers. As business people, we are always looking to the future - and a future inside the European Union is where we see more opportunities for investment, growth and new jobs," they write.

"We know that Britain leaving the EU would mean having to re-establish terms of trade from scratch with our home market of 500 million consumers. That wouldn't just hurt exporters but the hundreds of thousands of small and medium firms who do business with them".

"EU membership is good for business and good for British jobs. That's why, on June 23rd, we back Britain remaining in the EU."

Their plea follows a letter published recently in The Telegraph, in which a a group of 13 Nobel prize-winning scientists stress that "EU decisions about scientific policy, funding and regulatory frameworks affect science the world over, and are influenced by British scientists," and that, "on the inside, Britain has access to people and funding and wields global scientific influence, far greater than we have alone."

The British Medical Journal has also voiced strong support for remaining in the EU, with editor Fiona Godlee noting: "we could not name one prominent national medical, research, or health organisation that has sided with Brexit".

* The letter's signatories include: ABPI chief executive Mike Thompson; Sir Andrew Witty, CEO, GSK; Søren Bo Christiansen, president MSD Europe & Canada Human Health, MSD; Nick Burgin, president chief operating officer, EMEA, Eisai Europe; Matt Regan, UK general manager, AbbVie; Robin Bhattercherjee, general manager, Actelion Pharmaceuticals UK; John Kearney, general manager, UK & Ireland, Amgen & President of the ABPI; Dr Alexander Moscho, chief executive, Bayer UK/Ireland; Wim Souverijns, general manager, UK and Ireland, Celgene; Tom Delahoyde, managing director, Chiesi Ltd; Dr Jan-Uwe Claas, general manager UK, Grunenthal ltd; Geraldine Murphy, managing director, LEO Pharma UK/IE; Jose Falcon, country manager, PharmaMar; Tarja Stenvall, general manager, UK Sanofi Ltd​; and, Pascal Soriot, chief executive, AstraZeneca​.