No. The placebo pill is made up of everything else, except the active. If the dosage of a medicine is, say 100 milligrams, and the pill weighs 500 milligrams or half a gram, then its 4/5 excipients. So replace the active with “sugar” and form it into a pill.
You want to know what “excipients” are. They’re things, added to actives, to make them into medicine. Active ingredients aren’t medicine – active ingredients don’t work if you can’t ingest them properly. No one, ever, made medicine that needed a person to swallow 1/10 or 1/50th of a gram. Particularly not if the patient had to measure it accurately. Mixing active with something to get it down has been the doctor’s task since Ancient Greece, and was still done by hand by doctors in the Victorian era and beyond. And yes, manufacturing and dispensing has changed over time to pharmacists and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies. Same job, new name, and yes, much more advanced manufacture.
You can easily read, on the back of a bottle of vitamins, what things are typical excipients:
gum arabic, crystalline cellulose, calcium stearate, silicon dioxide, titanium dioxide, FD&C lake.
So: glue, wood pulp, sand, grease and paint, if you have to make the worst analogies possible.