I think the blame is misplaced in this article. It is the fault of the researchers that they have chosen not to describe the specific placebos they chose to use in their studies. Doing so has resulted in the invalidation of the majority of studies examined for this.
The CW assumption that placebos are inert and biologically inactive (and thus do not merit consideration) may be very misplaced. In that respect the article is correct.
But I do not think a conspiracy exists to manipulate results.
Industry has manipulated the intent of placebos. Currently, placebos are the most basic 3rd party comparator. Companies do not want to test new drugs against old drugs in order to protect sales.
In order for true science and innovation to truly progress, we should test and compare the current best with the new innovation and keep this process going.
To test and compare to placebo is virtually meaningless.
I actually no longer believe that placebos ever existed. There is no such thing as placebos in my mind anymore.